Popular Cyberattack Methods Used by Hackers to Attack Businesses
We are into the fourth quarter of 2018 and there are no signs of cyberattacks slowing down. Reports indicate that over the first three quarters of the year, cyberattacks were happening at an increased rate compared to the corresponding time last year.
Cyberattacks, which are all driven by data theft, target companies, their clients, cryptocurrency exchanges etc and hackers seek to steal sensitive personal data like payment card information, login credentials etc. Cybercriminals would target and attack healthcare organizations, hotels, e-commerce websites, online ticketing systems, social media platforms etc. This year there has been an increase in the number of attacks happening on cryptocurrency exchanges as well. Last but not the least, ordinary users too are targeted.
Thus, it becomes important that everyone today has a thorough understanding regarding the different cyberattack methods that cybercriminals use today. Such an understanding would definitely help combat cyberattacks. Here’s a look at the different cyberattack methods that are quite popular these days among hackers:
Malware- Different kinds of malware are used by cybercriminals to execute cyberattacks upon individuals, organizations etc. Recent studies show that spyware and remote administration malware are the most commonly used malware today. Malware infection is done using different methods, most notable among them being exploiting vulnerabilities, social engineering, planting malware via infected websites, sending malware via malicious emails etc.
Hacking- Cybercriminals resort to hacking, exploiting software and hardware vulnerabilities. Hacking is always the first step in all attacks targeting governments, banks, cryptocurrency platforms etc.
Social Engineering- Cybercriminals today are developing new, innovative methods of social engineering. They would use links, messages or attachments to lure people into sharing confidential information or doing things that they (the hackers) want them to do. Once this is accomplished, it becomes easy to infect a system or network with malware, steal money or access more data.
DDoS Attacks- As per reports, business rivals, hacktivists etc are increasingly using DDoS attacks to target government institutions, political events etc. There are criminals too who are using DDoS attacks to make profits; they would block access to websites and then demand payment for restoring access.
Web Attacks- Hackers would gain control of websites and then threaten to shut down the website permanently or steal valuable client data from it. Thus they would extort money from the website owners.
Stealing credentials- Hackers also endeavor to steal credentials- login ids, passwords etc. For this, they would attack and compromise sources, including password managers, where such credentials are stored.
Businesses can take necessary steps to prevent these and all other kinds of cyberattacks. They should use the necessary security software, keep all software updated, centralize update management, encrypt data, use two-factor authentication, do regular backups etc.
The information that we have provided here is based on studies done by our researchers and also on reports from other sources, including the Positive Technologies Cybersecurity Threatscape: Q2 2018 report.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.