Cyberattack is becoming a word that we hear daily. The threat landscape is getting larger and more massive than many think it is. As a result, more individuals and firms are falling victim to exploits.
For example, hackers compromised the Binance Smart chain and carted $570 million. This is the second-largest hack this year. Only behind the Ronin Bridge hack that saw the black hat walk away with more than $600 million.
Uber recently suffered a cyberattack that exposed vital data. The list of firms that were exploited this year is massive. We also see cyber warfare going on in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. It is safe to say the most popular word in cyber security is Cyberattack.
- What is a Cyberattack?
- Why do they happen?
- Types of Cyberattacks?
These are the questions this article answers. Let’s start with what the term means.
What Is A Cyber Attack?
When you say Cyber, what comes to mind is something related to computers. An attack is something everyone can define in different forms. However, combining both words means a form of aggression or malicious action against a computer or any related component.
In this context, a cyberattack does not only equate physically harming a computer or its system. It is a vicious and unscrupulous attempt initiated by one or more computers, targeting networks or private devices to uncover, alter, disable, or snatch an organization’s assets and data.
Anyone who can carry out this function is a Threat Actor. It can be a dominant state, explicit groups, people within the community, or an organization.
Additionally, the goal of such action is to access the device by hacking into a vulnerable system. The objectives can range from nestling spyware on a personal device to weakening an entire company or even a nation’s digital infrastructure.
Why Do Cyber Attacks Happen?
The examples cited above highlighted malicious attempts against firms. It is also interesting to note that you are at risk of becoming a victim. Cyberattacks have become increasingly intricate. The growth every year indicates a few established motives. Some of the highly recognized motives include:
Financial Gains: Most threat actors do it for monetary gains. This year, hackers carted away almost $3 billion in crypto from different platforms. As we speak, there are other individuals who are grooming to become black hats to also enjoy these benefits.
Access to Financial Data: Some aim to gain access to the financial data of the customers of a company or the firm itself. This data may include financial records, credit, and debit card info as well as other information. Nonetheless, the intent behind this attempt could also stem from monetary gains.
Access to Intellectual Property: The motive is to hack into a company’s system or network to access product structure or trade secrets to execute them in one organization or circulate them.
Warfare And Terrorism: A popular flip-through trend is seen among terrorist groups that hack into private devices to induct spyware or use encrypted services for communication. It is a probable threat to the security of a whole nation.
Types of Cyberattacks
With highly advanced hacking cogs, now cyber attacks have developed into several types and can pose a tremendous danger to your device or network security. Let’s look at some types of attacks.
Malware is nasty software, commonly a trojan that halts the normal functioning of your system or prohibits you to access the data stored in it.
Such software includes spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms. In some circumstances, the user clicks on an unsafe link or email attachment that installs malware on the system’s device.
Phishing encompasses rendering fraudulent communication that appears to be coming from a legit firm or an individual. The means of communication can be emails or text messages.
Moreover, it aims to extort data, generally private data like the victim’s address, credit card details, or healthcare records. While sometimes the threat actor is content with the stolen data, it can also be the first phase of more enormous cyber attacks.
Furthermore, threat actors use emotional changes like fear, urgency, or greed to make the recipient click on links or email attachments. Once you get to the link, you offer any data that the threat actor is looking for on a platter of gold.
Subsequently, you might be vulnerable to losing corporate budgets, harming your company’s prestige, or even making sensitive files accessible to public hackers.
Zero-day exploits happen when manufacturers fail to patch a vulnerability. Hackers use this defect to gain access to devices. Nonetheless, it is zero-day as after the patch, threat actors may be unable to access the defect.
The mode of this attack is to exploit the susceptibility of a system before they are patched. The strategies to exploit such susceptibilities are usually bought on the dark web and are often found by government agencies.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others have become increasingly prominent and valuable in recent times. The cryptojacking attack uses someone else’s device for ‘mining’ or generating cryptocurrency for the attacker.
While the DNS tunneling process has various credible uses in the data technology industry, many use it for malicious intent. However, during cyberattacks, HTTP and other policy traffic are sent over DNS. They can be used to conceal outbound traffic as DNS, disguising data that is usually shared via the internet.
DNS requests are modified for unethical use to take data from a vulnerable device to the threat actor’s network. Notably, those attacks are to order and control callbacks from the attacker’s network to the penetrated system.
It was one of the most feared attacks. Ransomwares are software or malware that blocks access to certain data or an entire system. As the name suggests, the threat actors lift the block after the victim pays a certain amount.
One of the major of denying access is by encrypting the information and rendering it useless if further attempts to break the encryptions persist.
Early Signals That Lead To A Cyberattack
Preventing ransomware attacks is nearly impossible. The reasonable reaction one can roll into effect is to lessen the odds of infecting your system coverage.
Simply put, it means that a cybersecurity professional must go through computers, devices, and networks, looking for vulnerabilities such as:
General suspected phishing attacks. Extensive ransomware attacks appear as email attachments. It identifies emails with unusual or unfamiliar domains that have docked on your network.
Many login letdowns occur in the Active Directory, indicating brute-force attacks on your network.
Logs that show a thread of issues about a single machine.
Security tools were used in places they weren’t assigned. Where did that instance of Mimikatz (a legitimate tool for phishing attacks) come from?
Unusual time symbols appear on VPN connections. Who was up working at 02:37? Was the virus discovered?
The network changes the traffic course to scary places on the Dark Web. Arguably, no one using your network should go near TOR for example.
In this write-up, we discussed what cyberattacks are and the motive behind these attempts. While going over some types of assaults, we briefly went over what phishing, malware, cryptojacking, zero-day exploits, DNS tunneling, and ransomware entail.
The article ended by giving some signs that could indicate an impending cyberattack. One of the most popular is phishing attempts that could come in form of an email attachment or links.