10 Different Types of Cyber Security Attacks

Are you a web admin? Do you have a set of security protocols protecting your data, systems, and network? If not, you're at risk. This post unpacks the types of cybersecurity attacks online.

Are you a web admin or website owner? Do you have a set of security protocols governing access to your site and sensitive data? Cyber threats lurk around every dark corner of the internet, and failing to implement security protocols places your site and data at risk.

Don't become a victim of cybercrime. This post unpacks the cybersecurity attacks facing your website, systems, and network. If you need assistance beefing up your security protocols, contact cybersecurity companies to secure your data and systems.What is a Cyber Attack?

There are several types of cybersecurity attacks used by bad actors to gain access to your network, systems, and data. If you experience a breach, it could ruin your reputation and cripple your business. Don't let that happen to you.

If hackers penetrate your website, systems, and network, they have free reign to do whatever they want in the backend of your site. In many cases, you might not even realize they are present, harvesting data to execute other nefarious campaigns or to sell on the dark web.

Cybersecurity is a set of best practices to safeguard networks, systems, and data from unauthorized access.

What are the different types of cybersecurity attacks?

So, what are the types of attacks in cybersecurity protocols? How do hackers infiltrate your systems and gain access to your data? It will shock you, but there are several methods bad actors use to gain access to your network and systems. Let's walk you through the top cyber threats to your online business.

#1 Malware attacks

Malware attacks are the most common cybersecurity threats facing your website and online business. "Malware" refers to malicious code, including worms, viruses, spyware, adware, ransomware, and trojan horse attacks.

Malware breaches a network vulnerability. The user could upload an infected drive to their workstation containing the malicious code, or they could click a link on a website or email, allowing the successful installation of the script or code to your machine.

The evolution of "MaaS," or "Malware as a Service," rapidly expands. These services make it remarkably easy for amateur hackers to leverage platforms designed to make it easy to insert this malware into unsuspecting users' workstations.

#2 Phishing attacks

Phishing and attacks are becoming the preferred method of executing cybercrime online. A phishing attack involves a hacker sending a user on your network an email, inviting them to click a link. These attacks are incredibly efficient, and they fool millions of people around the world every day.

The phishing email might present as an email from Facebook, telling you to click the button below to access your account and make changes. The email template appears like it's from the Facebook team, and users click the link where they enter their information which the hacker steals to lock them out of their account.

Phishing campaigns can target a range of services and are incredibly effective. The easiest way to check if it's a phishing email is to look at the sender's address. In most cases, it won't match the Facebook or authority email address. For instance, it won't appear as "admin@facbook.com." Rather, it looks like "admin@Faceb00k.com" or something similar.

The advent of "PaaS" or "Phishing as a Service" allows hackers to leverage pre-designed templates that are easy to use and execute, even with limited experience. Sites like "Caffeine" enable hackers to launch, monitor, and manage phishing campaigns, even if they have little experience in these hacking strategies.

#3 SQL injections

A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks a database-driven website. The hacker initiates a standard SQL query to execute the attack and compromise the system. It occurs by injecting malicious code into a vulnerable search feature, making the server reveal critical data.

As a result, the hacker can view, edit, and delete table data in the database. The hacker may also use this attack to gain administrative rights to the system. Advanced hackers only instituted this attack, which is not as common as phishing and malware campaigns.

If you've ever watched the TV series "Mr. Robot," the lead character, Elliot, uses SQL injections to penetrate systems.

#4 Denial-of-service attacks (DDOS)

A Denial-of-Service Attack creates a significant problem for companies. These hacks involve a bad actor targeting servers, systems, or networks, flooding them with requests to consume all available bandwidth and resources.

When a DDOS attack occurs, the incoming server can't process all the incoming requests from the attacker or attackers. As a result, the hosting website slows or shuts down, leaving legitimate requests from users unattended.

A DDOS attack can cripple your systems, leaving your business dead in the water. In 2016, the "hacktivist" group, "Anonymous," launched "Op Icarus" in an attempt to disrupt the financial system.

#5 Insider threats

An insider threat attack involves someone inside the organization assisting the hacker with penetrating the system. In many cases, these attacks involve an unsuspecting employee inadvertently divulging critical security information to a third party.

An excellent example is the 2022 attack on Uber, where a hacker manipulated an employee into revealing their login data, which they then used to access Uber systems by exploiting the MFA utilized to secure the system. Insider threats can also be malicious, with the insider working in cahoots with the hacker, but it's less common than the other variety.

#6 Ransomware attacks

These hacks are similar to phishing attacks. The user clicks a malicious link in an email, executing a malicious code on their system. The code locks the user out of the system, presenting them with a notification that the hacker has control, asking for an amount of cryptocurrency, usually in Bitcoin or Monero, to unlock the victim's files.

The notice comes with a countdown timer; if the user doesn't comply by the end of the timeframe, they lose their files forever. The "WannaCry" and "Petya" ransomware attacks of 2016 were the most well-known examples of ransomware attacks. They're still popular tools in hackers' arsenals today.

A good example was the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline infrastructure in May 2021. Hackers infiltrated the systems, stealing 100 GB of data in two hours.

#7 Man-in-the-middle attack

The Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM) is also referred to as the "eavesdropping attack." The attacker penetrates a two-party communication between a client and host, stealing and manipulating data. The hacker cuts off the client-server communication, replacing it with a communication line through the hacker.

#8 Password attacks

These attacks involve hackers cracking your password using "brute force," "Dictionary," and "Keylogger" methods like password cracking tools such as "Cain," "Aircrack," "John the Ripper," and many others. The hacker uses these tools to uncover your password to lock you out of your account.

#9 Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking relates to cryptocurrency, where an attacker accesses someone's mining computer. The hacker gains access by infecting websites or manipulating victims to click malicious links. Online ads with malicious JavaScript code are another common strategy used for this method.

Victims are unaware of the mining code running in the background. They only experience a slight delay in command execution. The website "thePirateBay" is a great example of a malicious site using this code to leverage the computing power of its users to mine crypto.

#10 Zero-day exploits

Zero-Day Exploits are the holy grail of hacking strategies because no security strategies are available to counter these hacks. However, they are not common.

How to Prevent Cyber Attacks?

So, how do you protect your systems, network, and data from hackers? Cybercriminals are getting smarter with the tools they use to penetrate systems and gain access to websites.

Phishing and malware as a service is making it easy for anyone to launch malware and phishing campaigns, so how do we protect ourselves against these exploits?

You can implement these basic strategies to help you get the edge over the hackers and avoid being a victim of cybercrime.

Change your passwords regularly

It's critical to change your passwords frequently. Using a random password generator is the best way to create complex passwords that are challenging for hackers to crack using brute force methods.

If you use passwords like "1234,' "love," or 'god,' you're asking for trouble. A random password generator and password management tool keeps your passwords out of the hands of hackers.

Update both your operating system and applications regularly.

Download and install system updates as often as necessary. Don't leave it hanging when Microsoft or Apple prompts you to download an update. These updates usually contain patches to security issues discovered by the development team.

Failing to regularly update your operating system exposes you to bad actors that leverage these vulnerabilities. Ensure you turn on automatic updates for your operating system. This strategy ensures you never have updates waiting for installation. Use the same method for your apps on your device or desktop.

Use a firewall and other network security tools

Firewalls and anti-virus software are critical to ensure hackers don't break into your system. You're asking for trouble if you turn off your firewall and anti-virus. Never open emails from untrusted sources, and check the sender address in the email before clicking on any link.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) cloaks your IP address from hackers and your ISP. Hackers can see your IP address and the data you're transferring to and from websites if you're surfing the internet. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for this data, ensuring no one can see what you're doing online, not even your ISP.

Make Regular Back Ups

Cyber security professionals recommend you make three copies of your data. Create two across media types and another off-site copy, preferably in secure cloud storage.

Use Two-Factor (2FA) or Multi-Factor (MFA) Authentication

These tools leverage third-party devices and accounts to complete the secure login process. It is far more challenging for hackers to penetrate your systems, even if they discover your passwords.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi

Man-in-the-middle attacks often occur at coffee shops and other locations offering free Wi-Fi. Your employee might visit the local Starbucks and log on to the free Wi-Fi using their device. Unbeknownst to them, a hacker uses a front connection to capture the user and penetrate their systems.

In Closing – Trust Complete IT for your cybersecurity needs

Cyber attacks are becoming a serious concern for businesses and independent users. We all think it will never happen to us until it does. Being a victim of cybercrime could ruin your reputation as a business or consultant. If your client's data ends up for sale on the dark web, it will create a nightmare for your company.

The best way to ensure you never experience a hack is to have the correct security protocols for your systems. Hiring a third-party provider to assist you with managing and monitoring your network is the best way to ensure you never experience a hack.

Cyber security companies in Phoenix can assist you with setting up a secure network and monitoring your systems in real time for any signs of malicious actors.

The types of cybersecurity attacks – FAQs

Q: What is a Cyber Attack?

A: A cyber attack defines a third party's unauthorized, offensive breach of a network or system. The purpose is to steal or destroy data.

Q: What are prime examples of cyber attacks?

A: The most common types of cyber-attacks are phishing and malware campaigns. These attacks initiate malware onto the system or coerce users into executing the attack, unaware of the consequences of their actions.

Q: What occurs during a cyber attack?

A: A cyber attack involves disrupting, disabling, or destroying systems or networks. The goal is to delete, alter, block, steal, or manipulate data. In most cases, there is a financial incentive involved in the attack.

Q: How can companies prevent cyber attacks?

A: Several strategies make you less prone to a cyber attack. However, using a third-party specialist internet security firm is the most effective means to avoid a cyber attack.

Q: What are the top five types of cyber attacks?

A: Phishing, spear-phishing, and malware attacks are the most common cyber attacks. SQL injections and ransomware attacks are also very common.