Overhearing Cyber Attacks

We all have heard of Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity. It is essential to understand what cybercrime is. Especially as we enter 2021, knowing how to deal with cybercrimes and protecting you and your device is of great significance.

A cyber attack can turn your business upside-down. Today almost all the big companies ensure to protect their electronic devices from any malware attacks. This article will help you understand what a cyber-attack and malware dysfunction is, and we will also discuss some methods by which we can protect our data.

In case of an attack, you must not panic and take quick action. Prepare yourself and learn how to respond to such situations.

What is a cyber-attack?

A cyber is not like a physical attack. It is an intentional and deliberate swindling of computer systems to manipulate and collect data for its misuse. Such attacks are rancorous to sneak into your device, steal all the data, modify the computer system to control, and corrupt the malware system. Such cyber-attacks lead to disastrous consequences such as impersonation, identity theft.

A CNA[ (computer network attack) is commonly known as a cyber-attack.

Types of Cyber-security attacks

Phishing attacks

Phishing is a common cyber-crime, where an individual’s system corrupts as a consequence of trickery. Here the attacker poses as a trusted person and tricks innocent people via emails, messages, and scam calls. The victim’s system freezes due to corrupted links, and their important data like credit and debit card details are shoplifted and misused.

Trusting such links will corrupt your malware and reveal all the sensitive data and lead to malware coronation.

Phishing attacks are widespread, especially in today’s world of smart and fast technology. It has disastrous effects and threats like unauthorized purchases, including data and identity theft.

This breach is often used to access governmental or incorporate networks. Phishing is an act of conspiracy, also referred to as an advanced persistent threat.

  • Spear Phishing attacks

As the name suggests, spear phishing is an email that targets a particular individual organization. Its aim is to gain unauthorized access to crucial data. Such technology is not readily available to random hackers. Big organizations like military intelligence mainly execute these hacks.

Such emails are under the control of big financed organizations with advanced technology. These emails resemble the recipient’s organization. These hacks are mainly under government officials’ command, but cybercriminals often practice these attacks to access essential yet confidential information. These hackers hire professional engineers to personalize websites and text messages significantly.

  • Whale Phishing attack

This act of phishing aims at high-profile employees like CEO, CFO, etc., of multinational companies. It mainly centers on the higher position holding employees as they have access to all the crucial files. In most whale phishing attacks, the victim gives high-worth wire networks access, and the attacker manipulates the employee and controls the files.

The expression whaling implies the size of the attack, and whales also depend on their attack position. Whaling attacks are highly targeted, and hence, they are difficult to notice compared to the regular, less targeted phishing muggings.

  • Clone Phishing

Cloning here means imitating a trusted and well-known site that is used frequently. Hackers create an ill-disposed website that is a look-alike of the website, which the victim often uses. The victim then receives an email regarding an issue with their account.

Such hackers trick people by providing them with their log-in credentials. When you login into these clone websites, your entire network system is hacked and vulnerable to viruses.

  • Social Media

Phishing attacks are performed on a large scale, including social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, etc. When you play a quiz with your friends on some website, the website you use to answer some straightforward questions can crack your password and access your account.

These hackers use pictures posted on social media to trick people. People are also advised to never post photos of their passports and tickets on their social media because the barcode on tickets can be used to capture crucial data.

Malware attacks

A malware is that code that can slowly yet steadily affect a computer system without the user’s consent. Malware has a comprehensive definition, which comprises various nasty software such as spyware, ransomware, command, and control.

Many popular businesses, statesmen, and criminal actors have been incriminated in installing malware.

How is malware different from other software?

Malware can spread widely across a computer function and cause damage and change the network series without being detected.

  • Ransomware

Ransomware typically can block your hard drive and encrypt your files and behest a certain amount of money to access your data. Ransomware is malicious software that uses encryption and targets your data for ransom.

Ransom attacks will hold on to your files and other sensitive data and deny them access until you pay the price demanded. These attacks on cybersecurity gain access to your device in the form of email attachments of your interest and when you voluntarily download these files.

Once your device is infected with a ransom virus, it will encrypt all your files and deny access to them. The hacker clarifies to the victim that their data is stolen and given back if a ransom is paid.

The ransom is often demanded in the form of Bitcoins. After the ransom is paid, they might or might not give you access to your files. They can even leak your data without your consent.

How can you prevent ransomware?

  • The first step you must take to avoid any leakage or easy access to your essential data is saving your files in Cloud and ensuring you backup your system files.
  • Also, have multiple backups that will protect your files. If your last backup gets encrypted, you will still have access to the same information in another file.
  • Segregate your network into various zones and protect your data by securing it with different credentials.
  • Install Anti Malware and Ransome software. And ensure that you run security scans frequently.
  • Drive-by attack

A drive-by attack is another way of distributing malware. Here the attacker develops a website or directs you to a website and plants a malicious script into PHP and HTTP. And if you visit such websites, the script will automatically install the malware in your computer system.

Suppose the victim comes across such a website. In that case, the device will silently infect the computer and make their device vulnerable to malware if they don’t have any security or antivirus installed.

It is a drive-by attack because the eavesdropping malware attacks the victim’s device by simply visiting the site.

  • Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is the same as a Drive-by attack. It is the unlawful use of the victim’s computer to mine cryptocurrency.

Hackers gain access to the victim’s computer by sending them emails that may be disguised as legitimate links. When the victim trusts the website and clicks on it, the directed links slowly yet steadily encrypt all the computer files.

These websites are created by using Javascript that forcibly executes once loaded.

  • Trojan Horses

In simple words, a Trojan Horse is malware that misrepresents itself as legitimate software. They are disguised as useful files that can persuade the victim to voluntarily download them.

Trojans are also the most dangerous form of malware attacks as they are used to steal crucial financial and personal information.

  • Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise or BEC is a scam that aims at multinational companies with wire-transfers and consumers and suppliers abroad. The higher-ranked employees in these companies who handle finance involving wire-transfers are vulnerable to such scams as their computer systems are often hacked via keyloggers or phishing attacks. Their data is then misguided to make fraudulent transfers. Which results in a devastating loss to the company.

In 2016, BEC attacks were faced by many companies internationally and led to a loss of 140,000 US Dollars globally.

Web attacks

  • SQL Injection

SQL Injection is that kind of malicious code that will manipulate databases and access confidential information such as customer details, user lists, and sensitive business data.

SQL Injection is popularly known as SQLI, and it mainly targets websites. It can have devastating effects if it gains access to essential business files. An effective SQLI attack can vanish entire tables, gain unauthorized viewing to user lists, and gain administrative access to a database. A company can face customer trust loss, as the attacker will steal all the necessary credentials like addresses, credit card details, and phone numbers.

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-Site scripting is an injection breach where the attacker sends malicious scripts in useful content on reputable websites. This happens when websites permit the attachment of various codes in themselves. The attached codes on the website are then sent to the victim’s browser in a Java-script form. This has many executable scripts that use various languages like Flash, HTML, Java, Ajax, etc.,

XSS attacks are vulnerable for your device, though controlling and protecting yourself from these attacks is comparatively simple.

Are there any other types of Cyber Security attacks?

  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

The primary purpose of DDoS is to shut down a website or browser, making it inaccessible for the users. The attack targets a particular audience and flushes the website with excessive information, leading to a crash. It denies the service expected by all the intended users like employees, account holders, and other source members.

DDoS attacks aim at high big business profile websites like government organizations, trade organizations, media, and commerce companies. Although this may not result in any database leakage, it may cause the victim a substantial financial loss. Recovering the website costs a lot of money and time to mitigate.

  • Botnet Attacks

A botnet is an internet-service, collected and infected by malware giving access to the hacker to control the website or the network.

Cybercriminals often use botnets to launch attacks on a targeted network or website. This may lead to credential leaks, misuse of credit and debit card information, unauthorized access, and data theft.

Botnet attacks also include denial of service attacks.

  • Password Attack

As the name suggests, a password attack attempts to hack an account via decrypting an individual’s password for illegal use.

Password dictionary attacks and cracking programs are some tools used to obtain passwords. You can still protect yourself from password attacks by inculcating the password policy, including minimum password length, frequent changes, and unrecognizable words and phrases.

Password attacks are attempted by recovery passwords stored in a computer carried out by continuously guessing the password via a computer algorithm. The computer tries the password multiple until it successfully discovers the password.

  • Keylogger Attacks

A keylogger is a malicious spyware. When you enter or copy sensitive data on your keyboard, believing that no one is watching, you are indirectly giving away all your crucial information to the hacker.

Keylogging software is an activity logging software that logs into everything you type and saves the information. The information you order on your devices, like credit card details or the websites you visit, are recorded on your keyboard. It then sends all the recorded data to cybercriminals, who then misuse all the sensitive information.

  • Eavesdropping Attacks

The inauguration of the Eavesdropping breach is done with an interception of network traffic. The hack capitalizes on an unsecured network and gains access to all the transmissions. Eavesdropping is very difficult to detect as there is no abnormal functioning of the communications.

The main target of these attacks is the weekend, non-encrypted transmissions—for instance, conversations between clients and customers. Any device within the transmitting and receiving network is vulnerable to viruses. One way to protect yourself from these hacks is to choose wisely the transmission network and the software on which these devices run.

  • Birthday attack

This is a statistical method that disentangles the tenacity of one-way hashes. Its basis is the birthday antithesis, according to which, if there is a 50 percent chance of someone sharing a birthday in a room, it necessarily needs 253 individuals in the room.

In case the probability is more than 50 percent, then the requirement decreases to just 23 individuals. This probability is most effective because these matches are dependent on pairs. If you are one of the teams, you will need 253 people to reach the required limit. If the rounds do not include you as a pair, you will need only 23 people to create 253 teams of a cross-match.

Thus 253 is the limit one needs to acquire a probability of 50 percent of a birthday match in a room.

  • Brute Force and Dictionary Network Attack

These are some networking attacks. It is similar to a password attack, but here the attacker attempts to log-in to a user’s account by systematically keeping a check and, hence, trying all possible passwords until they find the correct one.

The front door is the easiest way to attack as it is the path-way of logging-in. If the hacker has all the required credentials, he will gain entry into the ID as a regular user without any suspicious logs. But if you have a system’s credentials, you are not vulnerable to such attacks as the hackers do not have these luxuries.

The term brute-force means to overpower a system via repetitions. When hacking passwords needs dictionary software to combine dictionary words and phrases with thousands of different concepts. Such attacks are slower and typically start with the alphabet and then move to full terms like ‘sneak’ and ‘sneaky.’

Brute-force dictionary attacks can make 900-1000 attempts per minute. After several attempts for 2-3 days, brute force hackers can crack any password. These attacks require best password practices, especially on critical devices like routers, network switches, etc.

How can you prevent these attacks?

Almost 81 percent of data breaches are because of weaker choice of password. To protect yourself from Brute force and Dictionary attacks, you must ensure that your password is strong and unique.

  • Insider Threats

You must never share your passwords and other credentials with anyone cause you never know what the other person’s intentions are. Not all the attacks are from an outsider organization.

Insider attacks are spiteful attacks carried out on a computer system by a person who is authorized to the data. Insiders have the advantage of accessing all the information which is licensed to them. They also know the system’s policies and software architecture. Insiders also have the edge over external attacks as most organizations focus on protecting their network from external attacks.

Insider threats can include all types of cyber-attacks, from injecting trojan horses to phishing attacks.

  • Man in the middle

MITM attacks are a breach that permits the attacker to eavesdrop on a conversation between two individuals. Here the two legitimate parties allow access of their discussion to their person. Which suggests the name ‘man in the middle.’

The attacker has the key to their conversation by intercepting the message transmission and transmits the message by interconverting the requested access with his own.

It is an eavesdropping attack, and the parties in communication would not know that their chats are being read and controlled by a man in the middle.

  • AI-Powered Attacks

The entire process of computer programming and networking is very complicated. Hence, building knowledge and learning the program is exceptional.

We can say that artificial intelligence is another tech-buzzword. It is implied in our day-to-day life in various applications through statistical algorithms called machine learning.

Machine learning is the process in which the computer is taught to do some tasks on its own. This is achieved by repeatedly performing the reading on a device while knowing about the obstacles that may hinder the tasks.

Artificial intelligence is an advanced technology development that can be used to hack various systems, including vehicles and drones.  Artificial intelligence is also the hackers’ support system to perform cyber attacks such as identity theft, password cracking, and malware attacks. It can even be used to hurt people emotionally as well as physically. Artificial intelligence may also lead to national security attacks, steal money, cut down power in entire regions, and shut down hospitals.

If we consider the number of cyber-crimes people face in day-to-day life, we must prepare ourselves for any such attack on our system.

This article covered all the top cybersecurity attacks used by hackers to derange and trade-off the information stored in your computer.

It is our responsibility to mount our system from any such attacks and build a defense mechanism. To protect the stored information in your device, you must always update your antivirus database and keep your passwords strong and uncommon. If you are a CEO of a multinational company, then firstly you must choose your employees wisely and then train them.  Also, using a low- privilege IT environment helps secure your data.