Cyber Attacks: 3 Common Methods and Preventing Them

We hear about cyberattacks all the time. Corporations are hacked, financial and personal data stolen, or someone narrowly avoids falling prey to an online scam. The constant advance of technology enables us to reach more and more people over the Internet. Conversely, cyber criminals can also expand their pool of potential victims, employing new methods to terrorise online entities. We must adopt stronger defence mechanisms if we are to prevent cybercrime from affecting us. This article will look at common types of cyberattacks and how we can protect ourselves better from them.

1. Denial of Service

Denial of Service (DOS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks are attacks that overload the servers of their victims and prevent servers from responding to service requests. DOS and DDOS attacks don’t explicitly try to gain access to restricted information or hack into their victim’s networks. Rather, perpetrators are satisfied with temporarily disabling their victim’s website.

During a DDOS attack, the victim’s website is presented with countless service requests from other infected machines. The victim’s server is overloaded and normal service is disabled. This is especially important as most DDOS attacks befall businesses and corporate identities.

There is not much one can do against DDOS attacks. However, choosing a secure and powerful server can allow a business to handle a larger volume of service requests. Firewalls against fragmented IP addresses and half-formed requests and partially block off DOS and DDOS attacks.

2. Password Attacks

Most information systems and websites use passwords as the last line of defence, to check if users are who they say are when accessing a website or network. Therefore, password hacking is a common and potentially lucrative cybercrime. It gives attackers access into and potentially control over a website or network.

Brute force or dictionary attacks are the most commonly employed tactics to hack passwords. Brute force attacks essentially use a trial and error approach to eventually guess the correct password. Software is used to systematically generate a huge number of consecutive guesses to hopefully find the right password. Dictionary attacks use a more concentrated attack, usually variations of words commonly found in dictionaries.

To prevent password attacks from succeeding, using multi-factor authentication will prevent hackers from gaining instant access. Security measures, such as Singpass’s 2FA login, make it almost possible for password attacks to succeed. Since it requires a password and a second authentication factor, password hackers will have a much harder time breaking into your website, account or network.

3. Phishing

Phishing attacks look to unscrupulously gain pieces of personal information from their victims. This usually comes as emails, imitating legitimate sources, that ask victims for their personal information. Clicking on links in such emails can also download malware into your device, and allow hackers more access to your personal information.

You can avoid becoming a victim of phishing by simply thinking critically when looking at your emails. Being selective and careful when opening your emails, such as spotting suspicious URLs or doubtful email addresses are tell-tale signs of a phishing attack.

To conclude, there are many methods hackers employ to conduct cyber attacks. To avoid falling prey to them, we must have the proper security measures in place and must be careful in our own decisions.