Cyber-attacks have been on the rise in the past few years. Countries and organizations are investing in cyber security measures to protect themselves from these attacks, but they are still happening. A cyber-attack is now considered a new form of war. In this post, we will discuss what a cyber-attack is, how it is done, and the defenses against them. We will also look at some recent examples of cyber-attacks.
What is a cyber-attack and how does it differ from other types of attacks?
Many governments are extremely concerned that competing states would target vital national infrastructure, though, given the majority of industrialized economies rely heavily on computerized systems for everything from electricity to food and transportation. As Stuxnet demonstrated, industrial control systems, often known as SCADA systems, which operate factories, power plants, and other industrial activities, are a major target.
The dark web is a network of websites that can only be accessed using special software. These sites are not indexed by search engines, making them difficult to find. The dark web is often associated with illegal activity, as it can be used to buy and sell drugs, weapons, and other illegal goods.
Turmoil following a DNS problem with car rentals
Sixt, a car rental company, acknowledged on May 1 2022 that it had been the target of a cyber-attack and had discovered IT abnormalities on April 29. Numerous consumer services were shut down as a result of the hack, which left many Sixt customers unhappy.
Although the reason or nature of the assault was not made public, Andy Jenkinson, group CEO of CIP, claimed that the corporation has exposed and vulnerable Domain Name System (DNS) vulnerabilities.
Funky Pigeon disappears
Funky Pigeon, an online card shop and WHSmith affiliate, was compelled to cease all online purchases while it handled a cyber-security breach that happened on April 14, 2022. The business said that client information was safe, but it was looking into how much personal information had been obtained.
Cybersecurity expert Michael Stout of the UK said it seemed to be a “straightforward data exfiltration effort,” in which an attacker tries to take data from a system.
Ukraine continues the conflict
A tsunami of cyber attacks has been launched against the administration and vital infrastructure of the country since the commencement of the conflict in Ukraine. On April 12, 2022, the Governmental Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) announced that it had responded urgently to a security event involving a deliberate cyberattack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Social engineering strikes Mailchimp
On April 4, 2022, email marketing business Mailchimp said that it had been the victim of hackers who had accessed and exported data from Mailchimp accounts. Trezor, a bitcoin wallet, was at the center of the incident when it acknowledged that it was impacted by an insider penetration of a Mailchimp-hosted mailing database.
Types of Cyber Attacks
Let’s discuss the various types of Cyber Attacks
Spyware, viruses, and worms are just a few of the threats that fall under the umbrella term “malware.” When a user hits a “planted” harmful link or email attachment, the malware takes advantage of the vulnerability to infiltrate the network and install malicious software on the target system.
A computer system’s malware and harmful files can:
- Deny access to the network’s vital components
- Retrieve information from the hard drive
- Disrupt can make the system unusable
There are many different malware operating systems since they are so prevalent. The most typical types are:
- Applications can become infected by viruses, which attach to the startup procedure.
- Trojans are destructive programs that hide inside other
- Worms are self-contained programs that spread over networks and computers, unlike viruses, which infect the host.
- Threatening to publish or erase the victim’s data unless a ransom is paid
- Spyware is a sort of application that is installed to gather data about users, their computers, or their surfing patterns before passing it to a remote user.
Phishing attacks are quite prevalent and include sending several bogus emails to unaware consumers while having them believe they are coming from a reputable source. The fraudulent emails frequently look legitimate but direct the recipient to a malicious file or script that gives hackers access to your device and allows them to take control of it, gather intelligence, install malicious scripts/files or extract data like user information, financial information, and more.
Phishing attacks can also occur through direct messages sent by other users with a concealed agenda via social networks and other online forums. To gather information about your job, interests, and activities, phishers frequently use social engineering and other publicly accessible information sources. This gives attackers an advantage in convincing you that they are not who they claim to be.
Phishing attacks can take many different forms, including:
Spear phishing: targeted assaults against particular businesses or people.
Attacks against senior management and other stakeholders inside a business are known as whaling.
Attacks caused by “Man-in-the-Middle”
Occurs when a hacker intervenes in a two-party transaction by intercepting it. From there, online criminals can disrupt traffic to steal and modify data.
Attack through Denial-of-Service (DOS)
DoS attacks overload a system’s resources to slow down the processing of service requests. On the other side, a DDoS assault aims to cause service denial and take down a system from several infected host computers, opening the door for another attack to access the network/environment.
Using server query language (SQL), an attacker can force a server to deliver protected information by inserting malicious code into the server. An unsecured website comment or search box is where this kind of assault often takes place. SQL injections may be stopped utilizing safe coding techniques like parameterized queries and prepared statements.
A zero-day attack
When a network vulnerability is fresh and recently disclosed — before a fix is made available and/or put into place — it is referred to as a “Zero-day Exploit.” In the brief window of time where no fix or preventative measures are available, zero-day attackers seize upon the reported vulnerability. As a result, thwarting zero-day threats necessitates ongoing monitoring, proactive detection, and adaptive threat management techniques.
Since passwords are the most popular way to authenticate access to a protected information system, cybercriminals are drawn to them as a target. A person’s password can be used by an attacker to access sensitive or important data and systems, giving them access to them and the power to change and control them.
Why cyber-attacks are such a threat to businesses and governments?
In today’s digital age, cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common and more sophisticated. Businesses and governments are especially vulnerable to these types of attacks, as they often hold large amounts of sensitive data. Cybercriminals can use this data to blackmail or extort organizations or sell it on the dark web. Even if data is not stolen, malware can be used to cripple systems and prevent access to important data. This can disrupt operations and cause financial losses. In some cases, cyber attacks can even pose a national security threat. All of these reasons make it essential for businesses and governments to invest in data security. By taking measures such as encrypting data and implementing strong authentication protocols, organizations can make it much harder for cybercriminals to succeed.
Military systems are a clear target since doing so would provide an attacker a significant advantage by blocking commanders from communicating with their soldiers or identifying the location of the adversary.
How to protect yourself against cyber-attacks?
The complexity and variety of cyberattacks are ever-increasing, with a different type of attack for every nefarious purpose. Good security practices and fundamental IT hygiene are often effective in mitigating these assaults, even though cybersecurity protection tactics vary for each type of attack.
Your organization should practice secure coding practices, use firewalls and threat management tools and solutions, install antivirus software across systems, control access and user privileges, backup systems frequently, and keep a proactive eye out for compromised systems with a managed detection and response service in addition to implementing good cybersecurity practices.