The most popular methods of cyber attacks on companies and their clients
Every year, organizations around the world suffer losses amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars as a result of cybercriminal activities. It is worth knowing the methods of hacker attacks in order to be able to defend against them. So what are the most popular methods of cybercriminals today? Let's take a closer look at them.
The risk of a hacker attack accompanies every company. It doesn't matter what industry the organization operates in, what size it is, or who its services are aimed at. Hackers target both high-ranking personnel in the organization and ordinary employees. It is people - regardless of their role - who are always the weakest link in the entire system of corporate security. Therefore, it is extremely important to build knowledge and awareness of cyber threats for all those involved in corporate processes who have access to networks and applications.
In order to strengthen the cyber competence of our readers, let's discuss the most popular methods of hacker attacks currently (in no particular order).
Phishing is one of the simplest and cheapest methods of hacker attack. In phishing, cybercriminals usually contact their victim via email or phone and impersonate specific individuals or organizations. Attackers use trust, emotions, and curiosity of the user to persuade them to perform certain actions (such as clicking a link, downloading an attachment, making a transfer), extracting data, confidential information, and infecting corporate equipment.
Malware (short for "malicious software") is a type of malicious software designed to steal data, damage, or exploit any device, application, or network element. Malware (such as a virus or Trojan horse) is usually spread through links and attachments in emails, downloaded applications, fake ads, or infected websites. Malware operates typically without the user's knowledge.
Ransomware (or blackmail software) is a type of attack in which a cybercriminal blocks or restricts access to a user's files and demands a ransom in exchange for their decryption/recovery. On the infected device's screen, the victim sees a message with instructions on what to do to gain access to the encrypted resources. Unfortunately, even after complying with the instructions, cyber extortionists often do not release their victim and continue to block files or otherwise affect the device's operation.
DoS, DDoS, and DRDoS Attacks
DoS, DDoS, and DRDoS are relatively simple but highly effective techniques that involve attacking an organization's devices, networks, and servers with a wave of connections from other devices or bots to prevent network service or system overload/blockage.
Man in the Middle
Man in the Middle (MITM) is an attack in which a hacker gains access to communication between two parties (such as individuals exchanging emails) to eventually impersonate one of the senders and gain possession of confidential information or induce them to perform a certain action (such as providing a password or a credit card number).
Cross-site scripting (XSS)
SQL Injection is a type of attack on websites or applications based on security vulnerabilities, in which the hacker uses form fields to send their own requests, i.e. injecting SQL code into the database. This method is most commonly used for stealing credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
Hacking methods = an infinite range of possibilities
Of course, there are many more hacking methods than the ones we discussed in the article. We only focused on the most popular ones. We must remember that cybercriminals are constantly expanding their range of actions and developing new methods to outsmart users. Just as tools to protect against cyber threats are evolving, hackers are also improving their skills, using increasingly advanced attack techniques.
On the other hand, these simple and most common hacking methods are still effective. A significant portion of them relates - to a greater or lesser extent - to social engineering, and if the user is not aware of the mechanisms that hackers use within it, even advanced security measures may be in vain. Therefore, it is always necessary to implement solutions that will not only protect the company technically, but also focus on strengthening and building awareness of cybersecurity and IT threats.