15 Types Of Cyber Attacks To Look Out For

Cybersecurity, Data Backup

Are you “cyber attack” conscious? What network security measures do you put in place to safeguard your business and critical data?

While cybersecurity experts step up their game to find a solution to new and emerging cyber threats, the role of implementing these safety measures rests on you. Businesses need to be aware of the potential types of cyber attacks they could face.

What are you waiting for? Check your risk to cyber terrorism attacks, and find a solution by going through these 15 types of cyber attacks, now!

Cyber terrorists are constantly looking for victims. They are refining new tools to break down computer security systems to launch their attacks. You could be their next target. If you operate a small business with a digital presence, you should be more concerned.

Most business giants have enough security infrastructure and cybersecurity analyst in place to hinder these emerging types of cyber attacks. Thus, leaving unsuspecting small businesses more vulnerable. If you are not actively pursuing and implementing cybersecurity measures, your day of doom may be near. You don’t want to wait for the harm to be done before taking steps to keep safe.

Cybersecurity risk management should be part of your network security protocol. Because of that, you have to hire a cybersecurity analyst to periodically help you review your risk to these types of cyber attacks.

Now, let’s begin this critical cybersecurity consciousness journey by going through the top 15 types of cyber attacks you need to look out for.

15 Types Of Cyber Attacks Infographic


Types of Cyber Attacks


1.     Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack

This type of cyber attack happens when a hacker introduces himself/herself between your network connection and a server.  These cyber attackers are going to observe or manipulate your traffic. Furthermore, the hacker can do this cyberterrorism act by snooping on your authentic network.

They can also create and control fake networks for these network security attacks. Once they compromise your network traffic, they decrypt data to steal your critical data and personal information. Moreover, they can also alter and redirect your traffic to unstable cyberspace.

Cyber terrorists carry out these types of cyber attacks through different ways including session hijacking, active eavesdropping, IP Spoofing, and replay.

Common solutions for the man-in-the-middle attacks are encryption, tamper detection, and authentication of digital certificates. Authentication proves to some extent that a specific query comes from an authentic source while tamper detection solutions reveal any alteration on the query. Sometimes, a latency test is carried out in order to detect the possible attack. This can be done by checking for inconsistencies in response times.


2.     Phishing and Spear-phishing Attacks

The phishing attack is where cyber-terrorism attackers send you fraudulent emails with clickable links. Oftentimes, these emails appear to come from legitimate sources. These attackers aim to steal your personal information. Cyber terrorists also use these types of cyber attacks to install malware on your computer.

These network security attacks involve a combined use of social engineering and technical tactics.  Sometimes, these fraudsters launch these attacks through an email attachment. Upon opening the attachment, you can download malware and compromises your computer security. They could, also, lure you into clicking on a malicious link that takes you to an illegal website.

Spear-phishing is a special type of phishing attack. On this attack, cyber terrorists take their time and work on their victims to get relevant information about them. They then send the target a personal email that appears to be from a known source.

One tactic that hackers employ here is email spoofing.  This involves falsifying the “From” email section to look as if it comes from a friend or business partner. These attackers could also use website cloning. They seem legitimate and trick you to enter your personal information.

The solution to these types of cyber attacks is caution and critical thinking. While this is true, avoid opening email or clicking links from unknown sources.

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Photo by Tumisu on Pixabay


3.     Drive-by Attack

Cyber terrorists frequently use drive-by attacks to spread malware. They target insecure websites. Once they find a potential victim, they inject a malicious script into either the HTTP or PHP code of the website pages. This script directly compromises the computer network of the site visitors.

It can also re-route the traffic to a website that is used for cyber terrorism acts. You can become a victim just by visiting a compromised website and by reading a malicious e-mail and clicking on a pop-up window.

You don’t need to actively download a malicious file to be a victim. It leverages on any security flaws of an app, OP, or a web browser. You can usually safeguard against these types of cyber attacks by avoiding insecure websites and keeping your browsers or OP up-to-date.


4.     Botnets Attacks

Botnets are a collection of system networks which attackers have injected malware. Cyber terrorists commonly make use of these infected systems with malware to carry out a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

This is done without the awareness of the owner of the devices. It is frequently difficult to spot DDoS attacks because the systems used in the attacks are scattered worldwide. However, there two methods of handling these types of cyber attacks. They are through RFC3704 filtering and blackhole filtering.

RFC3704 filtering rejects queries from spoofed addresses and traces network traffic to their source. On the other hand, blackhole filtering prevents suspected traffic from entering into a secure network.

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Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay


5.     Social Engineering Attacks

There are a few social engineering tactics employed in the cyberterrorism world to target victims. These cyber-threats include email phishing which is arguably the most common type of social engineering cyber attack. Others include vishing where the target is the victim’s phone line while smishing is when the cyber attackers utilize text messages.

Cyber terrorists use social engineering to access personal data of victims. They also use this type of attack for hijacking accounts, character or identity impersonation or to perform unauthentic payments, and more.


6.     SQL injection attack

SQL means a Structured Query Language. An SQL injection cyberterrorism attack happens when the cyber-terrorist injects malicious code in an SQL server. This injection attack tricks the server to divulge information it doesn’t usually disclose. This cyber-threat could occur when the fraudster merely submits malicious script into a susceptible website search box.

A successful SQL injection attack can cause much harm to a business. The attacker could gain unauthorized access to your database. They could hijack the system and carry out operations like editing, updating, or deleting the database. In worst-case scenarios, these cyber terrorists can execute administrative functions like shutting down the database and many more.

SQL injections mainly affect websites that use dynamic SQL, although it can be targeted at any SQL database. This cyber terrorism act may include the utilization of SQL Injection to sidestep computer security systems. It can even res result in a breach of customer data. As a result, the business could lose the trust of its customers.

MacBook Pro with images of computer language codes
Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash


7.     Malware Attacks

This is an umbrella term for different types of cyber-attacks that use malicious software to compromise computer security. These include spyware, viruses, trojan horses, logic bombs, and worms.

Malicious software is any undesirable software injected into your system without your approval. It either attaches to an authentic script and spreads or hides in useful apps. Malware can also reproduce itself across the cyberspace.

Ransomware is a type of malware attack. In this type of cyber attack, the attacker hijacks the victim’s network and either delete it or ask for a ransom. Through advanced malware attacks, the attacker encrypts the hijacked files and blocks the owner’s access. Furthermore, the attacker would only release the decryption key when the owner pays the stipulated ransom.

Steps on how to prevent malware attacks:

  • Use good antivirus software
  • Be careful when opening emails from unknown sources
  • Avoid clicking on malicious pop-ups
  • Keep your firewall up-to-date


8.     Cross-site Scripting (XSS) Attack

This type of cyber attack makes use of the third-party website to inject malicious JavaScript codes into the target’s web browser. It can also target the scriptable apps of the victim. If the victims send a query for a website page, the website page loads with the cyber terrorist’s injected payload attached to the HTML body. This infects the browser of the victim with a malicious script.

It can, for instance, transfer the cookie of the victim to a server that they use for cyber terrorism. They can extract the cookie and utilize it to launch a session of hijacking attack.

XSS attacks can also be utilized for capturing screenshots, discovering and collecting network information, and gaining remote access and control over the victim’s computer network.

The solution to this can be achieved through careful checking of data input in an HTTP request before redirecting them. This way, you can validate, filter, or escape all data before returning a response to the user.


9.     Password Attack

Cyber terrorists leverage on password authentication mechanism to gain access to user’s information. Using only one password, these cybercriminals break into your database. The password attack can take several forms. These can include sniffing the connection of users and breaching network security. They could gain direct access to the database or through guesswork.

This type of cyber attack can be classified into three categories below:

The Brute Force Attack

This is a recent type of cyber attack. It is used by internet fraudsters to guess your password. They commonly do this with advanced programs which help them decipher password based on certain factors.  For instance, they could randomly guess passwords through simple logical reasoning specifically by combining the victim’s name, job title, age, or hobbies.

The Dictionary Attack

The dictionary attack occurs when cybercriminals make use of a dictionary of common passwords to guess a target’s password. A successful attempt compromises the victim’s computer security. They can copy an encrypted file which includes passwords. When they get this, they implement similar encryption to the dictionary of frequently utilized passwords. Afterward, they evaluate the outcomes.

Key Logger Attack

With this type of cyber attack, the cybercriminals make use of programs that can capture keystrokes to get your passwords and sign in IDs. This can affect any individual who logs into a computer network or a web portal with a password and username. The solution to this is multi-factor authentication.

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Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay


10. The Denial of Service (DoS) Attack

A DoS attack is one of the most widespread types of cyber attacks which is done by making a resource unavailable to the user. At the same time, they overload a website with network traffics. This shuts down the system, and at the same time, prevents it from responding to legitimate queries.

The key motivation for this cyber terrorism act is to make unlawful financial gain through oppression. It could also be performed to show technical prowess. Sometimes, they are politically motivated. For a malicious reason, it is done to achieve the satisfaction of denying service to a business competitor. Attackers may also launch a DoS attack to take the system offline to do further attacks on their victims.

However, you can easily spot these types of cyber attacks with analytical tools. These tools will help you to investigate strange traffic growth. Moreover, you can also prevent these cyber threats by keeping your network security systems up-to-date.


11. The Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack

This attack occurs when many compromised network devices all over the world flood the bandwidth of the target system. Besides this, it also targets the victims’ network security resources. The attacking devices were previously infected with malware by the attackers. DoS and DDoS attacks can occur through session hijacking, TCP SYN flood attack, teardrop attack, smurf attack, ping-of-death attack, and botnets.


12. The Inside Attack and Data Breaches

Small businesses face different types of cyber attacks.  An insider attack is one of the most dangerous. This commonly occurs through the activities of disgruntled employees or ex-employees. The same also happens when well-meaning employees fail to implement standard security measures.

Always monitor your privileges access network for current employees. At the same time, you should disable user access to data when you fire any employee. It is because your enemy can use this to launch a ransomware attack against you. When this happens, it can lead to hijacking of your critical data. Because of that, you’ll have to pay a ransom to get it back.

This illegal acquisition of data can lead to data breaches like identity theft and other cyber terrorism acts. Aside from this, attackers can equally use these data to launch business attacks for financial interest or blackmails.

USB flash drive attached to laptop computer
Photo by Jared Brashier on Unsplash


13. Cryptojacking Attacks

Cryptojacking attackers target the bandwidth of users’ computer and processing power to mine cryptocurrency. These cyber attackers break into authentic sites and at the same time break into their visitor’s network security systems.

These cyber-threats target both Bitcoin holders and holders of other altcoins.  Crypto exchanges and companies that render mining services suffer the most of these attacks. Wallet holders also have their share of crypto cyber threats including identity theft and illegal extortion.


14. The Crypto Mining Malware Attacks

The crypto mining malware attacks also target crypto miners and exchanges and hijack their computer’s processing power. The worst part of this type of cyber attack is a complete hijack of the processing power.

Besides, recent cyber attacks involve the use of cryptocurrency for money laundering. The recent development of decentralized exchanges facilitated this.


15. Eavesdropping Attack

Eavesdropping cyber threats occur when attackers intercept user’s network traffic.  This type of cyber attack enables cyber-terrorists to perform cyber terrorism acts like accessing users’ passwords, and other personal and financial information.

Passive eavesdropping attacks occur when the attacker gains access to critical data by snooping on a user’s communication network. In the active eavesdropping, a hacker actively obtains critical information by pretending as a person well-known to the victim.

The solution lies more in detecting passive eavesdropping moves. This is because the active attack depends on prior knowledge of the parties involved obtained during passive eavesdropping.  The best protection for this attack is knowing what devices are connected to a network and what software is installed on those devices.


Wrap Up

Cyber attackers continue to refine their attack strategies to their targets. Cybersecurity companies are also working hard to find a solution to these cyber threats. Businesses need to stay observant and use available network security tools to remain safe.

A holistic defense mechanism starts with discovering the different types of cyber attacks. When you know the potential threats you can face as a business, you can then take the required steps to prevent or eliminate them.

Solutions for these different types of cyber attacks differ. It depends on the specific types of cyber attacks. However, basic computer security practice remains unchanged. Remember to regularly update your systems and network security programs like antivirus.

Organize regular cybersecurity training for your employees, and set up your firewall against unnecessary hosts and ports. Use strong passwords and regularly back up your data. Do not forget to hire a cybersecurity analyst who will access your cybersecurity risks regularly.

15 Types Of Cyber Attacks To Look Out For

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