The Most Common Types of Cyber Security Attacks

the most common types of Cyber Security attacks
The Most Common Types of Cyber Security Attacks

We all know the internet is a blessing as well as a curse because some people use it for good and some for bad. Similarly, if you are in the Cyber Security profession or a student, you should be aware of the most common types of Cyber Security attacks. These cyber security attacks are the most vulnerable bad boys out there, which are capable of destroying all your personal as well as professional well-being.

Also, if you are a business owner and run your business online, you should be very cautious while you carry any online trade because most hackers target business entities and government agencies to get heavy financial benefits in the form of ransom or theft. 

So, if you are unaware of the most common types of Cyber Security attacks, don’t worry, because in this article I will be providing you with information on some of the most common types of cyber security attacks that are vulnerable and are bad news for your online presence.

The Most Common Types of Cyber Security Attacks

According to the former CEO of Cisco John Chambers, “There are two types of companies; (1) Those that have been hacked, and (2) Those who don’t yet know that they have been hacked.” 

So, there are 18 most common types of cyber security attacks, that include; 

  • Malware Attack
  • SQL Attack
  • Phishing Attack
  • Man-in-the-Middle Attack
  • Denial-of-Service Attack (DoS)
  • Zero-day Exploit Attack
  • DNS Tunneling
  • Automated Teller Machine attack
  • Corporate Account Takeover
  • Credential Stuffing Attack
  • Password Spraying Attack
  • Mobile Device Attack
  • Malware as a Service
  • Cross-site Scripting
  • Birthday attack
  • Cryptojacking
  • IoT based attack
  • Drive-by attack

#1 Malware attack:

A malware attack is a type of cyber-attack practiced by hackers with the help of some software’s which are injected into the victim’s system with the help of emails or download links.

Malware attacks include software like; Ransomware, Spyware, Trojans, Adware, Viruses, and worm. Thus, when a victim downloads this type of attachment unconsciously, it helps hackers to install one of the malicious software that helps them to take total control over the victim’s system.

According to Monster Cloud Cybersecurity, “Malware usage is up almost 800% since early 2020.”

Malware has the potential to cause more harm to business operations by breaching their data on a severe level and then demanding ransom if they want their data back safe and sound.

So, once it gets injected into the system it can cause the following damage:

  • Can block access to key components of the networks.
  • Can Install malware or additional harmful software. 
  • Can obtain information by transmitting data from the hard drive.
  • Hinders some system components and renders the system inoperable.

#2. SQL Attack:

A SQL (Structured Query Language) attack is carried out by the hackers by injecting malicious code into a SQL server and then forcing the server to reveal the information which is normally prohibited. It can be carried out by injecting malicious code into the search box or comment box of a vulnerable website.

Therefore, using secure coding practices like using prepared statements with parameterized queries is an effective way to prevent SQL attacks.

#3. Phishing attack:

The Phishing attack is carried out by sending a bunch of fraudulent emails to unsuspecting recipients, by camouflaging them as legitimate ones.

When this type of email is open by the recipient, the script or files that are attached to such emails grant attackers’ access to your device, thus allowing them to install malicious software’s, scripts or files, and helping them gain access to user information, financial information and much more.

Phishing attacks can also take place on SMS or voice call. So, better first verify the details of the caller and if you feel like it is not a legitimate one, just skip it for good. Additionally, don’t share your banking details with anyone to prevent such kinds of attacks.

#4. Man-in-the-middle attack:

Man in the middle attack happens when an attacker tries to force himself in between the two-party transactions, and then steals or manipulates data. 

In this type of attack, it is very difficult to figure out the source of the destination and the users think it to be a legitimate one. Most phishing attacks are carried out with the help of a MiTM attack.

The Man-in-the-Middle attack is carried out by using two methods:

  1. By breaching the system with the help of malware, and then installing any malicious software to steal users’ data. 
  2. By inserting themselves between a visitor’s device and the network on an unsecured public Wi-fi, and then tricking the user to think that his/her information is passing through a trusted network source.

#5. Denial-of-Service Attack:

The Denial-of-service attack is carried out with the help of compromised devices to launch the attack, and then flooding systems, servers, or networks with traffic to drain resources and bandwidth. Thus, blocking the legitimate requests.

Additionally, apart from Denial-of-Service (DoS), there are also Distribute Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks.

The most common types of DoS and DDoS attacks are the TCP SYN flood attack, teardrop attack, smurf attack, ping-of-death attack, and botnets.

#6. Zero-day exploit attack:

A zero-day exploit attack is carried out by the attackers when the vulnerability of a network is newly announced and is without any security patch implementation.

Zero-day attackers jump into these types of disclosed networks in a small window of time to cause more vulnerability to the network. Thus, preventing Zero-day exploit attacks requires constant monitoring, proactive detection, and having dexterous threat management practices.

#7. DNS tunneling:

With a DNS tunneling attack, an attacker tries to bypass traditional security measures, by intruding into the DNS queries and responses and then trying to feed data and codes into the network. And after it is infected, the hacker is free to engage in command-and-control activities. 

The infected tunnel gives the hacker a route to discharge malware and to extract data, IP, or other various kinds of sensitive information by encoding it bit-by-bit in a sequence of DNS responses.

This type of attack has increased in recent years and some of the toolkits and guides are even available on YouTube.

#8. Automated Teller Machine attack:

Automated Teller Machine attack is carried out by the attackers to gain financial benefit. This attack involves changing the settings to “Unlimited Operations”, and then withdrawal of cash is done with a stolen debit or credit card over that customer’s account and beyond the limit. Thus, the financial institution has to suffer a great loss.

#9. Corporate Account Takeover:

CATO aka Corporate Account Takeover is a type of attack carried out by the attackers by infecting a computer through email, websites, or malicious software, and then transferring funds to their accounts by impersonating that particular business entity.

#10. Credential Stuffing Attack:

In Credential Stuffing Attack, attackers tend to use the previously stolen username and password, to gain access of the same user in another organization.

Statistically, 65% of people are habituated to using the same password across multiple accounts. Therefore, the Credential Stuffing Attack is one of the most practiced cyber-attacks. So, I advise you to use strong and different passwords everywhere.

#11. Password Spraying Attack:

This is again a type of password stealing attack, where an attacker guesses the password from the common list to gain access to the victim’s account. Usually, these password contains “12345” or simply “Password.”

#12. Mobile Device Attack:

A Mobile Device attack is a commonly practiced cyber-attack, that is initiated by the attackers every year. Pegasus attack over Apple’s iOS software is the best example.

Pegasus was injected on iOS software by sending users a text message that asked them to click on the link provided inside the text message. So, the users who clicked on the link got infected with Spyware software that spied them through the camera and microphone. Also, their login credentials were stolen from WhatsApp, Gmail, and other communication mediums. 

#13. Malware as a Service:

This one is the most growing type of attack for carrying out cyber-attacks. In this type of attack, attackers are hired to conduct ransomware attacks on behalf of a third party, and the most interesting part is that anyone can carry out a cyber-attack using this model, even he is lacking knowledge or skills.

#14. Cross-site Scripting:

Cross-site Scripting is a type of cyber-attack, in which an attacker attaches a code into a legitimate website, and when the victim opens up this website the attack is executed.

This kind of code can be added or inserted in many ways, for example; either at the end of the URL or directly on a page that displays user-generated content. Usually, the malicious code consists of JavaScript, Flash, HTML, and XSS.

#15. Birthday attack:

As the name suggests, this type of attack is carried out by guessing a birthday and then cracking the password. It is solely dependent on a probability theory in which around 70% of people, within a group of 30 people share the same birthday.

Thus, when birthdays are a match, it allows the hacker to crack the password and intrude into the system.

#16. Cryptojacking:

Cryptojacking is a type of cyber-attack that uses a person’s or an organization’s computer resources to mine cryptocurrency. It can be malware or a code installed on a victim’s computer through phishing, digital ads, webpages, or infected websites.

This type of attack has gained more popularity due to the immense craze of crypto trading.

#17. IoT based attacks:

Internet of Things aka IoT is a type of cyber-attack that targets IoT devices or networks which allows attackers to take control of the device or steal data or even join a group of infected devices to create a botnet to launch DoS or DDoS attacks.

It is expected to grow rapidly as the implementation of a 5G network will further fuel the use of connected devices, which may lead to such cyber-attacks.

#18. Drive-by attack:

A Drive-by attack is another name for Drive-by download, which is a form of malware attack that causes vulnerability in various web browsers, plugins, or apps, to launch the attack. 

Moreover, it doesn’t require any kind of human interaction and after the attack is initiated, the hacker can hijack or spy on the user’s activity or even steal data and personal information.

Though it is more complex to exploit, they are becoming more common as the cybersecurity measure are becoming more advanced and sufficient in blocking traditional malware attacks.

Final Remarks on the Most Common Types of Cyber Security Attacks

So, with this discussion, you must be clear that there are various types of cyber security attacks that are practiced by hackers to make us vulnerable, and therefore we should practice keeping our pc safe from such attacks.

Thus, to conclude, these were the 18 most common types of cyber security attacks, that are practiced by hackers to date.