Cyber-Security is a hot topic. Because of COVID-19, there has been a shift to work-from home policies. This had led to a drastic increase of cyber attacks over the past few months.
- On average a cyber attack happens every 39 seconds.
- 90% of cyber security breaches are due to human errors as opposed to technical mis-configurations or lack of technical security tools setup up by companies.
- 77% of organizations do not have cyber security incident response plan.
It is one thing to be hacked, but it is another thing to be able to respond promptly in order to mitigate the action, or activate your recovery plan.
This series of articles aims to briefly introduce cyber security, but also provide general knowledge and advises on what each individuals can do to prevent such event from happening.
When an attack occurs it can target different entities depending on the various objectives.
A specific person can be the primary target of an attack. In that case the attacker might have a grudge against that specific person or might need something in possession of that person (access). In this case the hackers know who he wants to hack.
The target of an attack can also be a company. In this case, the hackers could be trying to do corporate espionage or simply get revenge against it.
A filtered list could also be the main focus for an attack. This would include target groups like an email list of gamers or a leaked list of logins and password from a specific website.
There are cases where a global accessible malware is used. For example a mass phishing attack could be executed using a website that is publicly available for everyone. Attackers will wait for users to fall into the trap and will sometimes even use classic advertising techniques.
Finally, you could be hacked as part of collateral damage. In the event of that one of your connection's email is hacked, any information you exchanged with this person will now be available to the hacker. This is why it is always important to never share authentication (email & password, encryption key, etc.) via email, as you will be exposing yourself.
Let's take a look at the main reasons Hackers would attacks a website or system:
- Money (ransom-ware, blackmail).
- Information theft (identity theft, corporate espionage).
- Disrupt services.
- Fun (make a point, contest or simply because the are bored).
- Driven by a cause (anonymous, hacktivism, terrorism).
- Or simply because they just can, so why not ?! :)
We will now take a look at the most common types of attacks regardless of the platform or system targeted.
It is used to impersonate an entity usually this comes under the shape of emails, websites. An attacker will send a well crafted email asking you to follow a specific link or to send a password. In terms of websites the attacker might use a website that looks exactly like a real facebook or google sign-in to try and steal credentials.
Man in the middle
In this type of attack the perpetrator will be sitting in between a client and a server and syphoning or analyzing all the traffic going through to see unencrypted content or hijack sessions. This is often used in public places such as starbucks, macdonald where traffic is not encrypted.
Denial Of Services (DoS / DDoS)
A Denial of Service (DoS) is usually when you spam packets on a certain protocol with the goal of overloading the service. Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) refers to a DoS but instead of coming from one source it comes from multiple sources.
Here an attacker will try to either directly inject, extract, delete, modify, data from the database through modifying forms, queries, requests.
This is the act of trying to authenticate, identify using a high number of combinations. It might be from spaming number sequences to bypass an One Time Password (OTP) or using a list of common usernames and passwords to try and access a service.
If the next articles we will be tackling each of the most common attacks previously mentioned and provide quick tips for you to be more careful and prepared.
Pixium Digital is an agile software development company with their headquarters located in Singapore. We focus on shaping our clients project from ideas to successful project launch.
Cyber Security is a big part of any project we have to deliver. Very often we have been the witness of lack of awareness or caution from various providers or clients we have worked with. We aim to share those little tips to the community so that with everyone's effort, we can make the web a safer place.