A cyber attack is a cybercriminal attack that uses one or more computers to target a single or numerous computers or networks. A cyber attack can be used to intentionally disable systems, steal data, or launch additional attacks from a compromised computer. To launch a cyber assault, cybercriminals utilise a range of methods, including malware, phishing, ransomware, and denial of service, among others.
Any attempt to obtain unauthorised access to a computer, computing system, or computer network with the goal to do damage is considered a cyber attack. Cyber assaults aim to disable, disrupt, destroy, or take control of computer systems, as well as to change, block, erase, modify, or steal data stored on them.
Cyber Attack and its types
- Malware is a term for harmful software that is used to attack computer systems. Malware includes ransomware, spyware, and Trojans. Malware can be used by hackers to steal or secretly copy sensitive data, prevent access to files, disrupt system operations, or render systems unworkable, depending on the sort of malicious code deployed.
- Phishing is a method of social engineering email communications in order to persuade recipients to open them. By opening an attached file or clicking on an embedded link, the recipients are deceived into downloading the virus contained within the email.
- Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks occur when attackers place themselves in the centre of two parties, such as individual computer users and their banking institution. This form of attack can be characterised as a man-in-the-browser attack, a monster-in-the-middle assault, or a machine-in-the-middle attack, depending on the specifics of the attack. An eavesdropping attack is another name for it.
- DDoS is a type of cyberattack in which hackers flood a company’s servers with massive numbers of simultaneous data requests, rendering the servers unable to handle any genuine requests.
- SQL injection is when hackers use the Structured Query Language programming language to inject malicious code into servers in order to force the server to expose sensitive data.
- A zero-day exploit occurs when a freshly discovered vulnerability in IT infrastructure is exploited for the first time by hackers.
- Domain name system (DNS) tunneling is a sophisticated assault in which attackers establish and then employ persistently available access — or a tunnel — into the systems of their targets.
- Credential-based attacks occur when hackers steal the credentials that IT professionals use to access and administer systems, then use that information to gain unauthorised access to computers in order to steal critical data or disrupt an organization’s operations.
Cyber Attack History
Let’s take a look at some of the most significant cyberattacks in history.
1. The Melissa Virus
The Melissa Virus was one of the first and most dangerous cyber dangers. In 1999, programmer David Lee Smith released the Melissa Virus by giving consumers a file that could be opened by Microsoft Word. Hundreds of organisations, including Microsoft, were severely harmed by the malware. The cost of fixing the impacted systems is projected to be over $80 million.
2. NASA Cyber Attack
James Jonathan, at 15 years old, was able to hack NASA’s computers and shut them down for 21 days in 1999! During the attack, about 1.7 million pieces of software were downloaded, costing the space giant around $41,000 in repairs.
3. The 2007 Estonia Cyber Attack
In April 2007, Estonia saw what is claimed to be the first cyber attack on a whole country, with around 58 Estonian websites, including government, banking, and media services, going offline.
4. A Cyber Attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network
In April 2011, a cyber assault on Sony’s PlayStation Network exposed the personal information of 77 million members.
5. Adobe Cyber Attack
The cyber attack that was initially assumed to have compromised the data of 2.9 million users ended up compromising the personal data of up to 38 million people! Adobe claims that only the passwords and credit card information of the first 2.9M were compromised, whereas the remaining 35.1M only suffered the loss of their passwords and ID.
6. The 2014 Cyber Attack on Yahoo
When 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised in 2014, it was one of the greatest cyber attacks of the year. However, basic information and passwords were reportedly obtained, but bank information was not.
7. Ukraine’s Power Grid Attack
In what was the first cyberattack on a power grid, almost half of the residences in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk area lost power for a few hours in 2015.
8. 2017 WannaCry Reandomsware Cyber Attack
In 2017, one of the largest ransomware attacks in history occurred, affecting over 200,000 systems in over 150 countries. This outbreak had a huge impact on various businesses and cost the world almost 6 billion pounds!
- A Cyber Attack on Marriott Hotels went unnoticed for years
When Marriott purchased the Starwood Hotels group, a cyber attack had been lurking in the shadows for quite some time, and it wasn’t revealed until 2018. However, the attacker had continued to have access to the personal information of the guests by that time. The data of an estimated 339 million guests has been exposed. The Marriott Hotels were fined 18.4 million pounds by the UK’s data privacy authorities as a result of this.
Cyber Attack Precautions
Top Cyber Attack Prevention Tips 2022
1. Keep Your Software Up to Date
Patching obsolete software, both operating systems and applications, is one of the most significant cyber security strategies for preventing ransomware. This aids in the elimination of important vulnerabilities that hackers exploit to gain access to your devices. Here are some pointers to help you get started:
- Set your device to receive automatic system upgrades.
- Make sure your desktop web browser downloads and instals security updates automatically.
- Keep your web browser’s plugins, such as Flash and Java, up to date.
2. Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall
To combat malicious attacks, anti-virus (AV) protection software has been the most widely used approach. Malware and other hazardous viruses are prevented from entering your device and corrupting your data by antivirus software. Use only one anti-virus tool on your device, and make sure it’s from a reputable vendor.
When it comes to protecting your data from hostile attacks, using a firewall is essential. A firewall protects your device by filtering out hackers, malware, and other dangerous behaviour that occurs over the Internet and deciding what traffic is allowed to enter. Windows and Mac OS X have their own firewalls, suitably dubbed Windows Firewall and Mac Firewall, respectively. To protect your network from threats, your router should include a firewall.
3. Use Strong Passwords & Use a Password Management Tool
Choose the password with at least 8 characters, including one number, one upper case and one special symbol in it. Do not use easy guessing passwords. Strong passwords are critical in keeping the hackers away.
4. Use Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, often known as multi-factor authentication, is a service that adds additional layers of security to the traditional password-based method of online identity. You would ordinarily input a username and password without two-factor authentication. However, if you use two-factor authentication, you will be asked to provide an extra authentication method such as a Personal Identification Code, another password, or even your fingerprint. After entering your login and password, you’ll be required to input more than two additional authentication methods with multi-factor authentication. Click here to learn more on Cyber.