As the world has become more advanced, we have begun to rely on computers to monitor and run much of our daily lives. Whether it’s a traffic light, your checkout at the grocery store, or just ordering ice cream, computers are involved in almost everything we do.
Because we rely on computers to run our lives and protect our assets, criminals have devised ways to get into these systems.
Once inside, they steal can money, lock users out, or even permanently alter the performance or memory of the network they are on. There are cyber attacks every day that cost businesses millions of dollars a year, and to keep your systems safe, you need to know what to look out for.
In this article, we’ll go over the nine types of cybersecurity attacks you need to watch out for and how you can protect yourself from them.
1. Phishing and Spear Phishing Attacks
Phishing is a type of cybersecurity attack in which criminals send out emails to their potential victims. These emails often contain links that download malware or spyware on your computer.
The links can also take you to legitimate-looking websites that may try to fool you into downloading malware. These websites can also trick you into handing over personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or your social security number.
A spear phishing attack is more focused and harder to defend against. In this attack, the attacker will conduct background research about their mark, or intended victim, to learn more about them.
They then craft an email that uses real-world details to seem legitimate. They may also send the email from an address that looks similar to someone you know.
To defend yourself from these attacks, make sure to carefully analyze each email you receive before clicking on links. You can also use system monitoring to protect your system from phishing attacks.
Be sure to research UC monitoring and find out how it can protect your systems.
2. Password Attacks
Because passwords protect valuable information, they are often targets for attack. In a password attack, the attacker obtains the user’s password, either through physical or digital means.
They can look at your desk, monitor your network connection and steal the unencrypted password, or simply just guess it using the Brute Force method. In this method, the attacker guesses your password using logic or other information.
To protect yourself from these attacks, keep your desk neat and don’t write down passwords on paper. You can also make sure that your system will lock users out after entering the wrong password too many times.
3. Eavesdrop Attacks
Every bit of information sent from your computer onto the internet goes over a network. While encryption can help protect these networks, hackers have found a way around that.
By disguising themselves as a friendly unit or just by listening to the message transmissions, hackers can pluck valuable information that goes over your network. Listening to the message transmissions is called passive eavesdropping, and is important to stop immediately to prevent active eavesdropping.
To protect yourself from these attacks, ensure that your data and network are encrypted.
4. Ping of Death Attacks
This type of attack doesn’t give the hacker access to your system, but it’s still threat to cyber security that can cause significant disruptions to your business.
Information from the internet comes in bits of information called packets. These packets contain small parts of information that add up to what you see and hear on your computer. During a Ping of Death attack, the attacker pings the system with packets that are enormous, around 65,000 bytes.
The system cannot handle packets of that size, so the attacker fragments the packets. Once the system reassembles the packet, it can cause buffer overflows and crashes. These cyber security incidents can leave your computer system paralyzed for hours, or even days.
To protect your system, install a firewall that checks fragmented packets for maximum packet size.
5. TCP SYN Flood Attacks
For these types of cyber attacks, criminals take advantage of the buffer space during a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) initialization handshake. The attacker then floods the system with connection requests but does not respond to those requests.
The system waits for these connections to timeout, and as the connection queue fills up, the system crashes. While these aren’t among the most common cyber attacks, they do still pose a threat.
To protect yourself from these attacks, you can increase the size of the connection queue and decrease the time it takes timeout on an open connection.
6. Smurf Attacks
This type of cyber security threat uses network congestion to shut down a system. Using ICMP echo requests and IP spoofing, the attacker channels all the requests from IPs in range to the victim’s system. This causes massive network congestion and can slow down the network and make it unusable.
To protect yourself from this attack, you need to go to your routers and disable IP-directed broadcasts. This prevents the ICMP echo requests used to disable the system.
7. Botnet Attacks
In a Botnet attack, hackers use an army of “zombie” computers to attack a victim’s system. By using viruses like malware to infect a large network of computers, the hacker then uses those systems to attack a victim’s system.
These attacks can overwhelm a system and cause it to crash. To protect yourself, make sure to look into black hole filtering, which gets rid of undesirable network traffic before it reaches a network.
8. Trojan Attacks
A Trojan or Trojan Horse is both an attack and a vulnerability. These programs hide in useful applications and programs, waiting to be activated. Once activated, these Trojan Horses create a backdoor which hackers use to get into your system.
They can then delete data, spy on you, or steal sensitive information. To protect yourself from these attacks, install a reliable anti-virus program on your system to detect them.
9. Ransomware Attacks
These attacks are especially devastating because they often require paying a ransom to fix. In this attack, hackers block access to a system or functionality of a system. They then demand a ransom to return access to the system.
These attacks usually come from email attachments and other links. To avoid these attacks, make sure to review any sender’s email addresses and scan any attachment for viruses before downloading them.
Defend Yourself from All Types of Cybersecurity Attacks
Now that you know the types of cybersecurity attacks, you can start defending yourself from them.
Make sure to research the best cybersecurity solutions and best practices. Then, double-check to see if your system is up to snuff.
If you have any more questions about cybersecurity or how to protect yourself, please visit our blog for more information.