Sure, the internet has made our lives easier and more comfortable. You can now seamlessly work from home, shop online, or make payments from the comfort of your couch. However, anything good has a flip side and the internet is no exception. The enormous challenge of securing digital assets has given rise to cyber crimes. In this article, we’ll look at the most common cyber attacks you should be aware of in 2023 and beyond.
What is a Cyber Attack?
A cyber attack is an illegal attempt by a third party to access a computer network or system to alter, destroy, or steal sensitive information. And given the critical and valuable data resources we possess—transactional data, customer info, or intellectual property, we are at risk of cyber attack. So, it’s good to be alert.
Common Cyber Attacks
Many types of cyber attacks occur across the globe today targeting individual users, organizations, businesses, and governments. And here are some of the most common cyber threats:
Phishing is a widespread social engineering attack where a criminal impersonates a reputable person, site, or business to entice victims to share sensitive details like passwords or account numbers.
For example, you may receive a phishing email, SMS, or phone call from persons posing as agents from casinos where you play online pokies for real money. But remember the rule of thumb—Australian casinos use advanced technologies and software to safeguard your sensitive data and will never ask for your account details via email, SMS, phone, or social media platforms.
Common phishing attacks include:
- Spear Phishing: This phishing attack targets certain individuals or businesses with the intent to steal their login credentials through malicious emails.
- Whaling: It’s a social engineering attack targeting senior executive employees to steal critical information to access businesses’ computers and networks.
- SMiShing & Vishing: SmiShing involves sending fraudulent text messages while Vishing involves making phone calls pretending to be from trusted organizations to trick users into sharing their sensitive data.
Malware involves the use of a malicious software virus to breach a computer, network, or server through a dangerous link or infected pen drives. Malware attacks can occur as either:
- Ransomware: A cyber criminal encrypts your data and offers you a decryption key in exchange for money. This mostly results from clicking on phishing emails, unpatched vulnerabilities, or policy configurations.
- Worms: These are self-contained programs designed to replicate and spread their copies to other computers with the intent of modifying, deleting, or shutting down a system.
- Trojan: This malware disguises itself as legitimate and harmless software.
- Spyware: It’s a malicious program that sabotages a computer, or other device to collect users’ web info without their consent.
Other malware attacks you should be aware of include fileless malware, adware, rootkits, scareware, keylogger, botnet, and mobile malware.
3. Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks
A DoS attack sends many false requests to a network, system, or server with the intent of disrupting normal business operations. Once the targeted business exhausts its resources and bandwidth, the network slows down or completely shuts down.
When DoS is launched from multiple compromised systems, it becomes a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS). And some ways how remote workers can ensure cybersecurity include running a traffic analysis to identify malicious traffic or noticing unusual network slowdown.
Spoofing attacks involve cybercriminals impersonating known or trusted sources and engaging with the targeted victims. Their intent is to extort money, install malware on your device, or steal your sensitive information.
Common spoofing attacks are:
- Domain spoofing: It involves the use of a copycat website that looks legitimate to gain the trust of a target audience.
- Email spoofing: Uses email addresses that are a copycat of the emails the target recipients are familiar with. Once the target clicks on the malicious links or attachments in the email, they become exposed to cyber-attacks.
- Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) spoofing: It’s a malicious program that tricks sender devices into channeling messages to cybercriminals instead of the intended recipients.
5. Identity-Based Attacks
CrowdStrike 2023 Global Threat Report indicates that 80% of all breaches are identity-based. Identity-based attack means that a cybercriminal hacks a valid user’s credentials (let’s say a celebrity) and then pretends to be that celebrity when contacting their prime targets, making them fall into the hacker’s trap.
Common identity-based attacks are:
- Man-in-the-Middle (MITM): This attack involves a cybercriminal eavesdropping on a conversation between two targets to steal or alter their sensitive data.
- Silver Ticket Attack: It involves stealing an account’s credentials and creating a forged service ticket to access specific resources.
- Brute force attacks: In this attack, the cybercriminal tries to guess your possible login details repeatedly until they get it right.
Other identity-based attacks include credential stuffing and password spraying.
6. Code Injection Attacks
Code injection attacks occur when a cybercriminal tries to inject a malicious program into a vulnerable computer or network with the intent of altering its course of action.
Common types of code injection attacks include:
- SQL Injection: It involves a cybercriminal taking advantage of a system’s vulnerabilities to inject malicious SQL statements into data-driven software to alter, steal, or delete information from a database.
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): A XSS attack is where a hacker injects malicious code into a trusted website with the intent of stealing sensitive data or impersonating the organization.
7. Internet of Things-Based Attacks
An Internet of Things (IoT) attack targets both traditional and non-traditional devices or networks. After compromising the IoT device or network, the cybercriminal either takes control of the system, steals data, or launches a DDoS attack.
Traditional endpoints hackers target are computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and servers while vulnerable non-traditional devices include printers, cameras, smart watches, health trackers, and navigation systems.
Stay Woke: Cyber Attacks Are on the Rise
As technology advances, the number of cyber attacks escalates due to certain vulnerabilities in the digital space. But now that you know what a cyber attack is and the most common threats, you can take proactive measures to protect your data system, network, and servers from any malicious attack.