What are the common types of cyberattacks?

What are the common types of cyberattacks?

What Are The Common Types Of Cyberattacks?

Cybercrimes are rampant across the world, causing incredible damages to individuals and organisations. There are different kinds of cyber attacks aimed at individuals and groups. They may be perpetrated by groups or individuals who seek monetary benefit or leverage of some sort. They use vulnerability, lack of knowledge, and manipulation as the means to this end.  So, what is a cyberattack and what are the most common types?

What is a cyberattack?

A cyberattack refers to any type of malicious attempt by cybercriminals to disable computers, steal data or gain restricted and confidential information. These attacks target computer data systems, personal or networked computer devices and infrastructure, mobile phones and even IoT devices. Some of the most common cyberattacks include phishing, ransomware, denial of service, social engineering etc. Awareness is vital in preventing your personal and business from these malicious attempts.

Most common types of cyberattacks

Mobile malware attacks

Mobile phones have evolved to become an indispensable tool of component of our day to day lives; from communication to money transactions, it encompasses a huge part of our social life. As a consequence, our mobile phones have become an easy target for attackers.

Cyberattacks on mobile phones include malware software, smishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and spyware. These attacks can steal our information or bank details. Since the target is individual users here, the attackers choose the most vulnerable people as targets.

Cybersecurity training can help us to be alert about social engineering and manipulation attempts. This can help us steer clear of frauds like phishing or smishing. Malware and ransomware enter mobile phones through internet downloads and apps. Make sure to scan your downloads for malware and ensure to download apps from official sites. Avoiding public WiFi best; if you must access it, use a VPN.

Learn more from our blog on mobile malware.

Ransomware

As the name suggests, Ransomware is a form of malware attack where the perpetrator demands a ransom, usually in digital currency. This malware penetrates a user’s system via emails, ads, or even targeted attacks.

A ransomware attack can result in hefty losses. Usually, these attacks are aimed at large organisations, where the data in the organisation’s servers are encrypted and threatened to be publicised or blocking access to confidential data unless a ransom is paid. Either way, ransomware is a threat to the smooth functioning of a company.

Investing in a good cybersecurity plan is ideal for any organisation that relies on computers and networks. Ransomware is increasingly becoming a threat to individual users too. Since ransomware can arrive at your computer through spam emails, one should always look out for manipulative content.

Phishing

Phishing is a form of online scam, which is perpetuated by social engineering, psychological manipulation, and deceit. The criminal at the other end gains the user’s trust and uses it to trick them into paying money or revealing important personal information. Phishing is carried out via emails, text messages, fake ads, social media frauds, and even websites.

The Nigerian Prince phishing scam is a famous example of an email phishing scam. The email promised a large sum of money that would be transacted after an advance fee was paid up by the unsuspecting user.

Phishing scams play on human nature to succeed; hence it also becomes the first line of defence one can employ. Always stay alert about messages that makes offers that seem too good to be true or creates a sense of urgency. It might be an email or text which promises large sums of money or provoking immediate action to avoid dire consequences. Do not panic or jump at the offer; instead, do some background checks first.

Read our blog on phishing to know more.

DDoS attacks

DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) is a form of attack in which multiple systems that are infected with a virus aim at a single system. It is carried out in three different ways: traffic attack, bandwidth attack, or application attack. DDoS attacks can severely cripple a system, making it one of the most dangerous to organisations.

Having a solid response plan, which includes a system checklist, response team formation, and defined notification and escalation procedures, and contacts to be informed in case of an attack, can help you protect against these attacks. It is ideal to stay prepared for all the different types of DDoS attacks. Investing in the right kind of tools like security event managers are important.

Man-in-the-middle attack

A man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) or person-in-the-middle attack is where a cybercriminal secretly relays and probably modifies the interactions between a two-party transaction. The two people involved believe they are communicating directly with each other, enabling the attacker to intercept data from both parties. The attacker also sends malicious links in a way that might not be detected until it’s late.

MITM attacks usually occur when someone uses an unsecured public WiFi network, and unknowingly, pass confidential data through the attacker. Prevent MITM attacks by implementing a solid encryption mechanism on wireless access points. This way, unauthorised users can’t join the network. Also, use VPN to create a protected environment for confidential information within a local area network.

IoT attacks

Internet of Things (IoT) is the name given to the system of networked objects around us like smart homes and security systems. Since the object of attack spans more than just computers and mobile phones, securing it is a matter of concern.

IoT attacks usually happen on a large scale, leading to massive damages to public and private property. We can defend IoTs to a large extent from these attacks by installing a VPN on a router, keeping the device firmware updated, and limiting access to the WiFi.

These are some of the most common types of cyberattacks. Being aware of the cyberthreats out there there is the first step to defending against these attacks. Next would be implementing the best cybersecurity measures to protect your organisations. Our cybersecurity specialists at Perth strongly advise investing in a good quality security system to protect your data and devices.

Want to protect your organisation from ever-evolving cyberthreats? Contact us or email at cybersecurity@computingaustralia.group. Computing Australia ensures our cybersecurity measures are updated to protect our clients from the latest threats.

Computing Australia is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies.

Jargon Buster

Phishing– a form of email fraud where the sender manipulates the receiver with deceit for gains.
Smishing– a similar practice to phishing, but the medium is a text message or SMS.
Malware – a collective name for malicious software specifically created to damage computers, networks and users. E.g. viruses, ransomware, spyware, adware and trojans.
Spyware – refers to spying software that intrudes into a system and collects information in that system for its host.

Kat Warzek | Blog author | Computing Australia

Kat Warzek

Kat Warzek heads the Cybersecurity Consulting Team at The Computing Australia Group. She is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and has a wealth of experience in information security, risk management & IT system auditing/forensics. When you want to achieve full cybersecurity compliance, Kat is a great person to have in your corner. She is passionate about ISO compliance and has her hands full ushering clients through the often arduous process.

Kat Warzek | Blog author | Computing Australia

Kat Warzek

Kat Warzek heads the Cybersecurity Consulting Team at The Computing Australia Group. She is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and has a wealth of experience in information security, risk management & IT system auditing/forensics. When you want to achieve full cybersecurity compliance, Kat is a great person to have in your corner. She is passionate about ISO compliance and has her hands full ushering clients through the often arduous process.