• Layla Eshack

The Different Types of Cyber Attacks



MALWARE


“Malicious software” such as ransomware, is designed to damage or control a computer system. Some common types of malware include ransomware, spyware, trojan horses, and viruses. Malware can be installed on your device when you download files, browse websites, open attachments, etc.


To avoid malware on your device, keep your software updated and do not click on links or attachments unless you know and trust the sender. Keep your network and devices protected by using anti-virus and malware protection. Keep these services updated.


PHISHING


Phishing is widely popular among cybercriminals for collecting personal information from individuals, sometimes with the intention of stealing the individual's identity. Phishing often involves fake email messages with malicious links or attachments. Sometimes these emails look like they could be from a trustworthy source (e.g. The IRS, the bank, the CDC), but they are designed that way to get you to be willing to share private personal information such as bank account information, social security numbers, and more.


Phishing relies on the individual opening the untrustworthy email. To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, always make sure you trust the sender before opening messages, and never download attachments you are not expecting. Never ever give your personal information to someone over email or text message. If you click on a phishing email from your company computer or business email, contact your IT provider immediately.


In the COVID-19 era, there are more phishing scams than ever before. These tend to play off of the fear of the pandemic and are still directed at gaining your personal information. Sometimes they promote false cures for the virus, or they pose as contact tracers who claim they “need” your information in order to work on tracing the virus. Lately, these scams come in the form of text messages, trying to get you to click on a link. Do not click on this link - this is not how legitimate contact tracers contact you. Beware: legitimate contact tracers are not out to get your personal information, and they should never ask you to give them your SSN, financial information, or passwords.


Man in the Middle


Man in the Middle attacks occur when a hacker inserts themselves between your computer and the web server. There, the hacker may be able to access your personal information such as login credentials, or impersonate the party you are attempting to communicate with, or simply eavesdrop on the communication in an attempt to gain information. These attacks can be hard to detect and can cause serious damage.


There are ways to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. Prevention techniques including using a VPN, avoiding the use of public networks, keeping browser applications updated, regularly monitoring your network traffic, and educating yourself and your employees on how to prevent and detect these threats.


DDoS


DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service and means overwhelming a server with queries and data in order to shut it down. DDoS typically involves several sources generating enough fake traffic to make a certain website or servers unavailable to legitimate users. DDoS attacks vary in scale. DDoS is more of a threat to businesses than individuals. When businesses are hit with a DDoS attack, they could be nonoperational for hours or days at a time, losing customers and profits.


DDoS attacks can be difficult to recover from. While you cannot completely prevent a DDoS attack, businesses can help avoid the impact of DDoS attacks by using preventative techniques. For example, the more resilient your business operations are, the less likely for a DDoS attack to impact business. Having scalable network bandwidth, data centers in multiple locations, and firewalls are some of the ways you can help to protect against the potential damage of a DDoS attack.


CROSS-SITE SCRIPTING


A cross-site scripting attack injects malicious code into a website that targets the visitor’s browser. It occurs when a user visits a website containing malicious code, and it allows the attacker to steal the user’s cookies or passwords. The impact of the attack varies depending on the nature of the website. In some instances, the attacker can access private, personal, or financial information while masquerading as a user.


SQL INJECTION ATTACK


An SQL injection attack corrupts data to make a server divulge information, such as credit card numbers and usernames. It allows attackers to control the database by executing malicious SQL queries. The attackers can access, change, and delete data within a database. These attacks are especially impactful for businesses that store customer’s personal or financial information.


SQL Injection Attacks can be prevented. There are many techniques to do so, including properly taking advantage of privileges, firewalls, data sanitization, and parameters. Your IT provider will be able to provide more specific actions for your data situation. These are absolutely worth exploring, as a data leak could be catastrophic for business.


If you have questions about your business's cybersecurity vulnerabilities, contact Critical IT Solutions today for a free assessment.


www.criticalitsolutions.com

info@criticalitsolutions.com

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