A While Back, we talked about how you can keep yourself safe online and in networked spaces. Today, we want to share with you some knowledge about the cybersecurity attacks you might face on the internet. This information will help you understand when your security has been compromised and help you find the accurate solution to the problem. Before we go on the types, we will see what Cyber Threats or Attacks are?

What is a Cyber Threat?

A Cyber Threat as defined by Wikipedia is “a possible danger that might exploit a vulnerability to breach security and therefore cause possible harm.”

A cyber threat is an intended abuse of computer systems, networks, and technology-dependent systems. Such attacks use malicious software to alter computer code, data, or logic resulting in detrimental effects that can compromise the data of people involved and promulgate cybercrimes such as information and identity theft. A cyber threat is also often referred to as a computer network attack (CNA).

 

Common Types of Cyber Threats

Below we discuss the major types of cyber threats, their effects, and uses.

Backdoors

Backdoor refers to any process by which authorized, or unauthorized users can circumvent normal security measures on a device and gain high-level user access (like root access) to a computer system, network, or software application. These commonly enter the system in the form of genuine software, but the malware becomes active after installation. Cybercriminals or hackers can use a backdoor once they are in the system to steal personal and financial data, install additional malware, and sabotage devices.

Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is an illegal way of mining cryptocurrency by using someone else’s device without their permission. There are two ways by which hackers do this. One, by having the victim click on a malicious link that is presented in an email or elsewhere that loads crypto mining code on the device. Second, by infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that executes automatically in the browser of the victim when loaded. The crypto mining code executes in the background when unsuspecting victims usually use their machines. The only signs that they may notice are lags in the system or slower overall performance.

DDoS

One of the most powerful cyber threats on the internet is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. It is used by hackers to take down whole websites and disrupt systems, so they can be pretty damaging to an organization. A distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) is an attempt to disrupt a targeted website, service, or network’s usual traffic by flooding the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a stream of Internet traffic. Such an attack often results because of multiple compromised systems flooding the targeted system with traffic. The compromised machines may also include computers and other networked equipment such as IoT systems.

DNS Cache Poisoning

DNS or Domain Name System is system used to translate website names into IP addresses that the desired websites can be accessed by network computers and routers. The DNS servers maintain tables to do this translation. As you can imagine, hacking through them can be pretty simple if proper measures are not taken. DNS cache poisoning, also called DNS spoofing, exploits the DNS servers to redirect the users from actual websites to fake ones by altering the IP addresses in the tables. This form of cyber attack is dangerous as it can spread from one DNS server to another and block entire networks until it fixes the vulnerabilities.

Formjacking

As you might guess by the name, Formjacking is when computer hackers insert malicious JavaScript code into a website and take over the site’s form page features to obtain confidential user information, mostly their finances. Once website user enters their card data on an e-commerce checkout page and clicks “send,” the entered information is collected by the malicious JavaScript code. The code created by cyber hackers can collect information such as payment card data, home and business addresses, telephone numbers, and anything in the form that is entered. Once the information has been processed, it is passed on to the attacker’s servers. This information can be used to make easy use of the user.

What to do?

The most vital step is to gather information about cyber-attacks and threats. Without this knowledge, you can never guess how hackers are getting into your system and damaging you directly or indirectly. Once you have this information, the road forward can be simpler. Few measures can be to prevent using insecure sites (your browser will show the insecure sign in the address bar), do not click unnecessary links in browsers, and most importantly try to use malware and error detection software in your systems, so you are always protected from any form of threat.