Top 22 Devastating Types of Cyber Attacks in 2022
Without a doubt, cybercrime has reached a new all-time high in recent years. Hackers are constantly coming up with new strategies and attacks to target businesses and people. Understanding the most common types of cyberattacks is critical to improving your organization’s cybersecurity posture.
This article discusses some of the most common types of cyberattacks. We go over various human factor risks, malware, denial of service attacks, web application attacks, and password attacks, among other things.
Human Factor Cyber Attacks
1. Phishing is a form of deception.
When someone uses social engineering to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials for online banking, usernames, and passwords to personal accounts, credit card information, or social security numbers, they are said to be phishing.
A phishing attack occurs when a hacker poses as a legitimate, trusted individual or organization to trick a person into clicking on a malicious link, attachment, or email that contains malware. Phishing is a popular cyber-attack method because it does not necessitate the use of sophisticated hacking tools or specialized knowledge on the part of the adversary. Phishing attacks have the potential to cause serious consequences. For example, online con artists use phishing to commit identity theft crimes, which is a type of fraud. Attackers use phishing to gain a foothold and control over an organization’s corporate network or to lay the groundwork for more dangerous plots such as advanced persistent threats.
Cybercriminals are currently taking advantage of the shift to a remote work culture by launching phishing attacks against individuals and businesses alike. According to statistics, 97 percent of users are unable to distinguish between a sophisticated phishing email and a legitimate email. Surprisingly, only 3 percent of victims report phishing emails to the appropriate authorities.
How can you protect yourself from phishing attacks?
Be on the lookout for phishing attacks and be familiar with their appearance.
- Avoid clicking on any links that are posted on the internet or sent via email.
- Anti-phishing software should be installed.
- Prevent the transmission of confidential information to unsecured and unfamiliar websites.
- Make your passwords complex and change them regularly.
- Maintain the latest versions of your operating system and applications.
- Install anti-virus and firewall software.
2. Types of Cyber Attacks: Phishing (also known as spear phishing)
Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack that is similar to phishing attacks. The primary difference is that the former sends phishing emails to specific individuals, whereas the latter does not. The latter, on the other hand, sends emails to hundreds of different recipients in the hopes that one of them will click and open the message.
When cyber adversaries want to target a specific organization or individual, they use spear-phishing techniques. Their spear-phishing attacks are used when they want to gain unauthorized access to highly sensitive information, such as trade secrets, military intelligence, financial information, or business intelligence information. Essentially, brand impersonation is responsible for 81 percent of all spear-phishing attacks, according to statistics.
Attackers craft spear-phishing emails in such a way that they appear to come from people who are already familiar with them. Attackers frequently employ spear-phishing techniques to carry out attacks such as state-sponsored hacks and business email compromises. Spear phishing attacks give criminals the ability to steal and sell confidential information to rival organizations and adversarial governments.
To our surprise, spear-phishing is used in 95% of all attacks against enterprise networks, with a single spear-phishing attack resulting in an average loss of $1.6 million.
You can protect yourself from spear-phishing attacks by following these guidelines:
Put in place a security solution that detects and blocks spear phishing attacks, which can include brand impersonation and business email compromise, among other things (BEC)
Every time it is possible, use multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA enhances the security provided by a simple username and password combination.
Employees should be trained to recognize and report suspected phishing emails.
Avoid falling victim to spear-phishing attacks by contacting the message sender before responding.
Personal information should always be kept secure.
3. Different types of cyber attacks: baiting and phishing
Baiting is phishing’s and spear phishing’s evil cousin, and it is equally devious. Baiting, as the term implies, is a type of human factor attack that involves making a false promise to arouse the curiosity or greed of the victim. To lure their victims into a trap where they will be infected with malware or have their personal information stolen, cybercriminals use something of interest to the targeted victims. One of the most widely used baiting techniques is the use of physical media to spread malware, which is one of the most widely used techniques.
Attackers may place a malware-infested flash disc – the bait – in a prominent location where employees of the targeted organization can easily see it and take advantage of it. To give it a more authentic appearance, the drive could be labeled as “Company A’s payroll list.” Anyone who picks it up and inserts it into a computer out of curiosity may put themselves at risk of serious consequences such as malware attacks.
According to a previous study, 48 percent of employees who discover baits pick them up and put them into their devices within minutes of discovering the bait. Only 16 percent of those who picked up and installed the drive thought about scanning it first with an antivirus program, according to the survey.
Do not fall for the trap! Always be on the lookout and aware of your surroundings to avoid being baited or subjected to other forms of social engineering. If you come across an unattended USB stick with that payroll tag on it, please take a moment to consider whether or not to insert it into your device. Apart from that, make sure your antivirus and antimalware solutions are up to date so that they can detect potentially and harmful malware in bait techniques.
Vishing is a fourth option.
Vishing is a social engineering scam in which hackers use phone calls to trick users into disclosing confidential or personal information. Vishing is a type of social engineering scam. In most cases, the attack begins with a text message, such as ‘Dear customer, your online bank account has been breached,’ which is immediately followed by a phone call.
The hacker may pose as a representative from the bank or investigative authorities and offer to assist you in solving the problem you are experiencing. The attackers, on the other hand, create one because they intend to use the established trust to collect sensitive information. Vishing victims reported that fishers already have some personal information about them and that they are using this information to target them and obtain more confidential information.
In essence, vishing is one of the many types of phishing attacks that attempt to gain access to a victim’s personal information by exploiting their trust. Vishing calls are made easier to place by using technologies such as voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), which allows scammers to place thousands of calls at once. Over the past few years, this type of social engineering attack has grown in popularity, accounting for nearly 30% of all incoming mobile phone calls in some countries. Spam and scam calls will account for nearly half of all phone calls within a few years.
What can you do to avoid being a victim of phishing?
Whenever possible, verify phone requests in a way other than by asking the caller directly. For example, you can verify the caller’s information by consulting an official directory or by making a second phone call to the company’s main office.
Callers requesting personal information such as usernames and passwords over the phone should be treated with caution.
Don’t give out confidential information over the phone unless necessary.
Even better, just hang up! When you suspect a phone call is a prank, do not feel obligated to engage in a polite conversation with the caller; instead, hang up and block the number.
5. What’s in it for me?
Quid pro quo is a method of tricking targeted users into installing harmful software or disclosing sensitive personal information that they do not want to give away in exchange for something. A baiting attack in the traditional sense, but instead of using bait to attract victims, they promise to provide something of value in exchange for a valuable exchange.
When hackers contact unsuspecting individuals and promise to teach them how to earn money online, they must first collect their social media profiles and access credentials to do so.
The hacker impersonating an IT staff member of a specific organization contacts employees and instructs them to disable their antivirus software so that the software can be upgraded is another example. Instead, the attacker takes advantage of the situation to install malware on the system and gain unauthorized system access.
A security consultant reported that, as part of a security test, he was able to obtain the usernames and passwords of 85 percent of the employees at a target organization by utilizing the tactic of quid pro quo payments.
Maintain vigilance! The first line of defense against any social engineering technique is to be aware of your surroundings.
6. Types of cyber-attacks: Pretexting, phishing, and spear-phishing
In a type of social engineering attack known as pretexting, hackers use a series of deceptive lies to gain unauthorized access to confidential or proprietary information. The scam is started by the perpetrators pretending that they require confidential information to complete a critical activity. phishing and pretexting are responsible for 98 percent of all social incidents and 93 percent of all data breaches, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Incident Report.
The first step in a pretexting attack is to establish trust with the person who will be preyed upon. Malicious cyber actors may pose as government officials, such as tax collectors, police officers, or other professionals with access to information under the Freedom of Information Act. Once the attackers have established a reasonable level of trust with the victim, they will begin asking questions that will require the victim to reveal and confirm their identity.
Pretexting allows hackers to obtain a wide range of sensitive information, including social security numbers, employee vacation dates, banking information, personal addresses, and driver’s license information, in the vast majority of instances.
One of the most effective ways to avoid pretexting is to be conscious of the possibility that it might occur. Email and phone spoofing can make it difficult to verify the identity of the person who is calling you. When a caller or an email begins requesting your personal information, be on the lookout.
Malware Types of Cyber Attacks
7. Ransomware is the seventh type of malware.
Ransomware is a malicious program that is designed to prevent users from accessing critical system components, files, and data. It is distributed via the Internet. As a form of intimidation, attackers use ransomware to force victims to pay a demanded ransom, or else they will upload the data to the dark web or destroy it.
As of 2020, it was predicted that ransomware would cost $20 billion, up from an estimated cost of $11.5 billion in 2019 and $8 billion in 2018. Since 2016, ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations in the United States have cost the industry $157 million.
However, while some ransomware attacks are simple and can be easily reversed, more advanced ransomware employs cryptoviral extortion to encrypt the target system in a way that makes it nearly impossible to recover even with the correct decryption keys, making it nearly impossible to recover. In critical sectors such as the health industry, where service delivery is essential, ransomware attacks are common because they target critical infrastructure and systems.
It is not only large corporations that are at risk of being harmed. You can take the following steps to protect yourself from ransomware attacks:
- Avoid clicking on links in emails if at all possible.
- Scanning emails with an antimalware program is recommended.
- Install firewalls and endpoint protection on your computers.
- Keep a copy of your data on hand.
- Notify employees when they receive emails from senders who are outside of the company’s network.
8. Cyber attacks can be classified into the following categories:
Attackers who arrive by car
To distribute malicious software, cybercriminals prefer to use drive-by attacks as their primary method. A drive-by attack is a technique in which hackers infiltrate a malicious script into the PHP or HTTP code of an insecure website to steal information.
When a user visits a website, attackers typically design the malicious script to automatically download and install malware on the user’s computer. The script may also cause a user to be redirected to another website under the control of the hacker.
Drive-by attacks are common because cyber adversaries can target anyone who visits a malware-infected website, making them extremely effective. A drive-by attacker does not require a victim to do anything other than visit the malicious website for the attack to be successful. This is in contrast to most cyber-attacks. This means that the attack does not rely on a victim opening a malicious email attachment or downloading a malicious file for them to become infected. Drive-by download attacks take advantage of flaws in the operating system, web browser, or software application installed on the target system.
Drive-by attacks are similar to other aspects of cyber hygiene in that caution and awareness are the best defenses against them. Website owners and businesses should make sure that the website components are up to date regularly. Furthermore, they should remove any components from their websites that are no longer supported or are out of date.
Employees, on the other hand, should use strong passwords and usernames when logging into their online accounts.
9. Trojan Horses (nine)
A Trojan horse, also known as a malicious software program, is a malicious software program that is designed to perform harmful functions while masquerading as a useful, legitimate program to avoid detection.
An example of a trojan horse is a computer virus, with the primary difference being that a Trojan horse cannot self-replicate. According to Avira, a maker of antivirus software, this type of malware was the most dangerous on the internet, according to their statistics. Trojan horses alone account for 60 percent of Avira’s online threats, with more than 788 million detections made throughout the study’s duration.
Hackers infect a targeted system with a Trojan horse to launch attacks and create a back door that allows cybercriminals to gain access to the system for further exploitation. For example, attackers may program a Trojan to open high-numbered ports on the victim system to enable them to listen for and execute additional attacks on the system.
How to keep the gates closed is as follows:
- If you are not certain of the source of an email attachment containing a running program, do not open it.
- Never stop updating the software that runs your operating system and other programs.
- Install an antivirus program or a trojan remover on your computer 10. Cyber attacks can be classified into the following categories: Adware
- Adware is a type of software program that is designed to assist businesses in marketing their products and services. It consists of advertising banners that are displayed when a person uses specific applications, such as a web browser, to browse the internet.
10. Advertisement-supported software (adware)
may be downloaded automatically to a user’s computer, where it consumes resources such as CPU, processor, and memory while running in the background. Adware, while not necessarily harmful, can be a nuisance because it runs without the user’s permission and may cause the computer to run slower.
The experts at Avast’s Threat Lab gathered statistics between October and December 2019 and discovered that adware was responsible for 72 percent of all mobile malware. According to Avast’s research, adware is becoming a more serious problem, with its share of all Android malware types increasing by 38 percent in the last year.
Adware attacks can be avoided by following these simple guidelines:
- Apps should be downloaded from official app stores.
- Check out other people’s reviews and comments on the app.
- Before granting an app access to your data, carefully review the permissions it requests.
- Install an adware blocker or an anti-malware solution on your computer 11 Spyware
- Malicious software is designed to collect information about users’ activities, such as browsing habits, websites visited the most frequently, and online banking activities. In addition, the malicious program collects sensitive user information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card information, among other things.
In the sense that it sends all user activities to a command and control center under the control of the hackers, it is classified as malware. Cyber adversaries who gain access to this type of information can use it to commit identity theft cybercrimes, which is a serious offense. Attackers can also instruct the spyware to download and install other types of malware on their computers through the use of a remote command and control system.
Overall, malware detections in businesses increased by 79 percent from the previous year, owing to an increase in spyware and other information thieves. Don’t get caught in the trap. Follow these steps to maintain good cyber hygiene:
- Avoid visiting websites that are not trustworthy.
- Install an antivirus and antimalware application that has real-time scanners to protect your computer.
- Check the origin of emails to ensure they are legitimate.
- Take care not to click on links or download attachments in emails that appear to be from an unknown source.
- Maintain the latest version of your operating system and other software.
- Botnets (also known as bots) are a type of computer network that is used to distribute malware.
- Botnets are a collection of computers that have been infected with malware and are under the control of a hacker. Attackers use bots, also known as zombie systems, to carry out attacks against a targeted network or system, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
DDoS attacks carried out by botnets overwhelm the processing capabilities and bandwidth of the target networks, causing them to become unavailable for critical operations. It is also difficult to track down the perpetrators of DDoS attacks because the attackers use botnets spread across multiple locations to conceal their tracks.
Spamhaus Malware Labs discovered approximately 3500 new botnet Command and Control Servers in the second quarter of 2020, according to their findings (C&Cs). Mirai, one of the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) botnets ever observed, was responsible for the disruption of many high-profile websites in 2016, including Dyn, OVH, and Krebs on Security. OVH revealed that the attacks exceeded 1 Tbps, making them the most powerful attacks ever recorded in the public domain.
The use of black hole filtering, which prevents unwanted network traffic from entering protected networks, can help organizations reduce the risk of botnet attacks. As the first line of defense, you should put in a firewall to protect your computer. Always make sure that your software and systems are up to date with the most recent versions.
Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Types of Cyber Attacks
13. SYN Flood Attacks
An attack on a TCP SYN flood occurs when hackers target and exploit the buffer spaces that are used during the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) session handshake initialization phase. They then use a device to flood the system’s in-process queue with numerous connection requests, but they fail to respond once the system responds to the requests, indicating that they are cyber adversaries. Consequently, the target system times out while waiting for the attacker’s device to respond, causing network crashes and unavailability.
In addition to placing servers behind a robust firewall and increasing the size of the connection request queue, other available countermeasures include the following: Micro blocks are a technique that administrators can use to mitigate SYN flood attacks. Instead of allocating a complete connection object for each incoming SYN request, this measure allocates a micro-record (as small as 16 bytes) in the server’s memory for each incoming SYN request.
14. Smurf Attacks
Smurf attacks involve flooding a network with unwanted traffic by employing the ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) and IP spoofing protocols, which are both available on the internet. In this attack, ICMP echo requests are sent to the broadcast IP addresses to gain access to the target system.
For example, a hacker could spoof ICMP echo requests from the intended victim’s IP address, say 10.0.0.10, to a broadcast IP address, say 10.10.255.255. A hacker could spoof ICMP echo requests from the intended victim’s IP address, say 10.0.0.10. The request would be directed at all IP addresses within the range, while all of the responses would be directed back to the spoof IP address (10.0.0.10). Attackers may choose to automate the process because it is repeatable and results in the generation of large amounts of unwanted network traffic.
It is essential to disable IP-directed broadcasts at the network router level as the first line of defense. A straightforward mitigation measure consists in disabling IP broadcasting addresses on each network router and firewall in your network. In most cases, older routers are likely to have broadcasting enabled by default, whereas newer routers are likely to have broadcasting disabled by default.
15. Ping of Death Attacks
DDoS attacks, such as the ping of death, are used to overwhelm targeted networks by sending IP packets with IP sizes that are larger than the maximum size of an IP packet, which is 65,535 bytes.
Systems do not allow IP packets to be larger than the maximum size allowed, and attackers take advantage of this by fragmenting the IP packet. The target system may experience buffer overflows and eventually crash when attempting to reassemble the oversized packet.
Organizations can prevent ping of death attacks by configuring a network firewall to examine the fragmented IP packet to ensure that it does not exceed the maximum size allowed by the network configuration. Many organizations have their firewalls configured to completely block ICMP ping messages. Ping traffic that has been fragmented can be selectively blocked, while actual ping traffic can continue to flow unimpeded.
16. Teardrop Attack
A teardrop attack is a method of infiltrating a computer by sending fragmented packets to the target computer. In sequential IP (Internet Protocol) packets, it causes the fragmentation and length of offset fields to overlap each other on the targeted system because of this vulnerability. Because of this, the compromised host attempts to reconstruct the IP packets but may be unsuccessful. The system becomes confused as a result, and it may even crash.
Among other operating systems, older versions of the Linux kernel (before version 2.1.63), Windows NT, and Windows 95 are more susceptible to teardrop attacks.
A well-designed firewall network can provide a dependable method of security protection. The security solution filters out junk and infected data, preventing it from entering the network’s frequency spectrum. Businesses can also implement a secure proxy server to inspect the incoming packets for viruses and other malware.
Web Application Attacks
17. SQL Injection
– Types of Cyber Attacks SQL Injection is a type of attack where a SQL query is entered into a database.
The structured query language (SQL) is an abbreviation for the structured query language. To communicate with other databases, databases must be programmed in the SQL programming language. The SQL language is required by the majority of servers that store critical data to manage data across multiple databases.
SQL injection attacks are directed at servers that use the SQL programming language, and malicious actors insert harmful code into the servers to instruct them to divulge sensitive data. After exploiting existing SQL vulnerabilities, hackers launch the attack, allowing the targeted SQL server to execute the malicious code. For example, attackers can target a vulnerable SQL server and enter a code into the search box of a website to force the server to dump stored passwords and usernames in a database.
SQL injection attacks can be particularly troublesome if the targeted server stores sensitive information about the user. The attacks account for two-thirds of all web application attacks. Furthermore, for more than a decade, SQL injection errors and cross-site scripting (XSS) have been at the top of, or very close to the top of, the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) list of the top 10 web vulnerabilities.
SQL injection attacks can be avoided by not placing your trust in anyone. Take it for granted that all user-submitted data is malicious, and user input validation to prevent potentially dangerous characters from being passed to a SQL query in data.
Update and patch applications and databases that are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks,
18. Types of Cyber Attacks: Cross-Site Scripting
Configure and deploy a web application firewall (WAF) – either as an appliance or as software-based protection against malicious traffic.
Make use of appropriate access controls and privileges to keep malicious activities and misuse from taking place.
Cyber attacks can be classified into the following categories: XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) is a type of scripting that can be used on another website.
XSS attacks are similar to SQL injection attacks in that they use a cross-site scripting attack. During a SQL attack, a hacker identifies and exploits SQL vulnerabilities present in a website server, and then injects malicious code into the server to exfiltrate data. In a similar vein, cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks take the same approach, with the attacker injecting malicious code into a website to target visitors.
Hackers do not attack the website itself, but rather the visitors who come to it. Once a visitor clicks on the compromised website, the malicious code is downloaded and executed on their computers. Injecting harmful code into a script that is intended to run automatically is one of the most common ways in which attackers carry out a cross-site scripting attack.
XSS attacks can have a significant negative impact on a company’s operations. If a cross-site scripting attack occurs, for example, victims may choose to file a class-action lawsuit, which has the potential to cripple a company’s finances and reputation.
To protect yourself from XSS attacks, you can take the following steps:
By escaping input, you can prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities from appearing in your applications. To implement this measure, an application must first receive data and then ensure that it is secure before displaying it to the end-user.
Any untrusted data coming from outside the system has the potential to be malicious. The validation of input would be beneficial in ensuring that an application is rendering the correct data and preventing malicious traffic from causing harm to the site.
Data should be sanitized so that it cannot be recovered by any physical or digital means in the future. This method keeps hackers from gaining access to sensitive information.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is a type of cyberattack (CSRF or XSRF)
Cross-site request forgery attacks, also known as session riding attacks or one-click attacks, are malicious website exploits in which a user of a trusted web application is forced to perform unwanted actions.
19. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF or XSRF)
Cyber adversaries who carry out CSRF attacks typically employ social engineering techniques to trick an authorized and authenticated user into executing the commands without their knowledge or consent, according to the FBI. For example, a user may unintentionally click on a link in a chat message, thereby enabling the attacker to obtain their access privileges and identity without their knowledge. Consequently, attackers can assume the victim’s identity and use it to commit additional crimes on their behalf.
The danger of CSRF attacks increases when the targeted user is a web administrator because the attacker can compromise every other user or piece of software on the web application’s network.
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attack can cause damage to both the entity that operates the compromised website and the users who access it. Furthermore, cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks have the potential to harm an organization’s reputation, undermine customer confidence, and result in financial losses.
Using an anti-CSRF token, you can keep your website safe from cross-site scripting request attacks. In addition, you can use the SameSite flag in cookies to identify the same site.