Cyber attacks are a leading cause of distress for many of us. In the tech-friendly environment, we live in today, there are thousands of attacks each day. If you’re lucky, your closest encounter with hacking might have been on smart home gadgets. But hacking, in the real world, is not as glamorous as the movies make it look. You don’t have to be a notorious or eccentric billionaire to find yourself in the crosshairs of a hacker. Cyber attacks are very real. They happen to real people every day.
What are Cyber Attacks & Hacking?
It is classified as any deliberate offensive action or exploitation of a computer system, security, or network. They use malicious code to alter your computer data, files or network properties. Attackers can essentially gain access to everything on your computer including emails, documents, pictures, banking information, and even passwords.
Most Common Hacks You Need to Watch Out For
There is always a purpose behind a cyber attack. The most common being monetary gain, but there are other reasons a hacker could infiltrate your system. Someone could hack you out of spite, or just to improve their skills. It is always advisable to protect yourself by updating your system’s security. Investing in a good anti-virus and anti-malware package is your best defense.
Here are 5 of the most used forms of cyber attacks:
Let’s discuss each in detail…
1. Denial of Service (DOS) Attack
Denial of Service (DOS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) is a kind of attack that, simply put, freezes your computer. While other attacks allow the hacker to gain access to your system, this does the opposite. While the hacker is unable to access your system, the problem is, neither are you. How it works is, the computer system is constantly bombarded with commands. So many constant commands overwhelm the system and it is unable to respond when you give it any command. To you, it looks like your computer is frozen, when in fact it is working overtime to complete countless commands, which you never gave it.
You might be thinking, why anyone would go through so much trouble if they’re not even going to gain access to your system. The reason hackers use this type of attack is that usually, they have something to gain from denying access to your computer. Or, they could have been hired by someone who stands to gain, by denying you access to your files or system. A competitor, perhaps, would benefit significantly if all your office computers stopped working all of a sudden.
2. Phishing Attack
Phishing attacks are usually tricky to detect. They, as the name suggests, bait you into downloading malicious files or sharing your personal information. There are a few ways in which phishing attacks take place. The most common is the email phishing. The emails appear to be from trusted sources. They can ask you for your personal information, either on the email itself or through linking to a website page where you’re asked to fill out forms.
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Phishing emails can also ask you to download attachments, or link webpages, which can trick you to download malware. Downloading such malware can deeply compromise your system’s security. If you try, it is possible to determine such attacks. The best way to know if the email or website is phishing for information is through critical thinking. Try to focus on the language used in the email, if it is different from the language format the sender usually uses, then be cautious. Another way of determining the legitimacy of an email is by hovering your mouse cursor over the link in the mail. If it shows a webpage address linking to a page that seems dodgy, try to avoid clicking on the link.
3. Password Attack
Passwords are the most common form of account security. Hackers use brute-force attacks to gain access to your passwords. They can also use personal information to guess your passwords. The best defense against password attacks is to constantly change your passwords and try to never keep something obvious like your pet’s names or family member names or birthdays.
4. Eavesdropping Attack
Eavesdropping attack is when your computer system’s or network’s data traffic is intercepted by the hacker. The hacker gains access to all your network data traffic and can sort through it to find information like passwords, confidential information or credit card numbers. Essentially, the hacker has access to your every movement.
There are two kinds of eavesdropping attacks, Passive and Active attacks. The best way to defend yourself is by using strong data encryption protocols.
5. Malware Attack
Malware is the most tricky form of attack. It is a software designed to infiltrate your computer or network. It can attach itself to regular files you download as attachments. There are many forms of malware to look out for. Here are some of the most common types:
- Logic bombs
- Stealth viruses
- Polymorphic viruses
- Macro viruses
- File infectors
⮚ Final Words
There are many things you can do to better protect yourself from cyber-attacks. Most service providers also offer a range of services for increased cyber security. Try contacting HR technology, or your own service provider for more details on their security options. The best way to protect yourself is by investing in reliable security software. While some security suites may cost a significant amount, the protection they offer can save you a lot more.