Safeguarding the organization from cyberattacks has become a major focal point of databased organizations world over. Almost all organizations, irrespective of their field of operations, are depended on data of one nature or other. Banking and financial institutions are major preys of cyberattacks because of the sensitivity of data being maintained by them. Cyber attackers utilize different types of attacks to get access to the data or penetrate a system.
Major types of cyberattacks
In backdoor attack, an attacker uses a back door door vulnerability to get access to a computer and install a programme. A backdoor is a means of access to a computer programme, created by programmers themselves for troubleshooting. Backdoor attacks are of high severity nature as the attacker can even take over control of the machine.
Denial-of-service (DoS) attack restricts genuine traffic to a host device by pushing high volume useless traffic continuously to the host till the server is brought down. Servers of banks and e-coms service providers and financial gateways are common targets of DOS attacks.
Direct access attack means cyberattack by installing viruses, worms or Trojans horses through networks or misusing physical access to the computer network or system. Malware is malicious software that is designed to damage or carryout unwanted actions in a computer network. Viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc. comes under this category. They are used to delete or damage files or to extract data secretly. Trojan Horses are malicious or harmful codes hidden behind genuine programs or data. The malicious codes access and damage the system while the genuine portion performs intended tasks. A computer virus is a self-replicating program that affects computer files and spreads like wildfire. Worm too is a self -replicating program that relies on security failures to access a system. Indirect attack is normally carried out from third party systems making it difficult to identify the initiation of attack.
Adware is software embedded in an application and carryout advertisements for the author. As the application runs, it shows the advertisement. Basic characteristic of adware is similar to malware.
Eavesdropping means secret listening of conversations among different hosts on a network. This is a kind of spyware software that spies and gathers information from the system through internet without the user’s knowledge. Spyware is a hidden component of many of freeware programmes which are downloadable from the internet. A keylogger on the other hand is a spyware that has the capability to record even every stroke on the keyboard, information in the system and details of web sites visited. This recorded log is then sent to the specified address.
Social Engineering attack is normally carried out by known persons. They take advantage of and deceive trust of people to gain access to passwords or other necessary information. Human interactions are used to break normal security procedures. Spoofing is a method of cyberattack where a message or a program impersonates another by creating false data. Spoofing attacks are mainly carried out through e-mails by spoofing the e-mail address of sender organization. Phishing is another method of email fraud that is used to gain sensitive information like passwords, usernames and other details for malicious purposes. In this method of cyberattack, the abuser sends a legitimate looking email and tries to extract personal information. (Vishing on the other hand is an illegal practice of using social engineering over the telephone system to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial crime. Vishing is a word that is a combination of voice and phishing.)
Information disclosure breach happens when classified and secret information is revealed through internet or web pages, after accessing such data through cyberattacks. Identity theft is a cybercrime wherein stolen personal details are used to commit a fraud. An identity theft occurs when a criminal impersonates an individual by using stolen details and uses such information for financial gain.
In a privilege escalation attack, a user gains access to higher functions which is not intended. The attackers take advantages of loopholes in programming to allow higher grade access to genuine users. When a cyber attacker takes advantage of the flaws in software, it is termed as an exploit attack. But a ransomware attack restricts access of authorized persons to computer system and then demands ransom for removing restrictions. Ransom is generally sought through online methods using bitcoin or other digital currencies to make tracking impossible.
A rootkit is a malicious software design that hides certain process or programs from normal antivirus scan detection. Thus a rootkit ensures a privilege access to computer system. A rootkit normally gets activated each time when a system is switched on. Software application named bot runs tasks of simple and repetitive nature automatically. Bots are used to carry out boring and repetitive tasks too. But malicious bots are used to originate DoS attack or a click fraud on using the internet.
Scareware as the name suggests scares a user through messages that acts as genuine system message and guides to purchase useless and potentially dangerous software. Scareware pop-ups look like genuine system messages and encash the anxiety of user.
In password attacks, attackers usually try various methods to gain access to system passwords. Both guesswork and application of automated program are used to identify passwords.
In bluesnarfing cyberattack, the hackers gain access to the information and data on a Bluetooth enabled phone using the wireless technology, without the knowledge of the user. Bluejacking on the otherside is a way of marketing by sending texts or images or sounds to another Bluetooth enabled device. But once thin line of differentiation is breached bluejacking becomes bluesnarfing threat.
Cyberattacks leads to repudiation issues
Cyberattacks often leads to repudiation by legitimate users . It occurs when the user denies having initiated a transaction. Repudiation is the normal outcome of cyberattacks since transactions are carried out without knowledge or concurrence of the actual owner. This further leads to financial loss, operational and legal issues and reputation loss for organizations.