Cyber-attacks have been around almost as long as computers themselves, but they have become increasingly common and increasingly sophisticated in recent years. No longer are cyber-criminals focusing their attacks on big businesses; now, small business owners and individuals are equally at risk. To be sure that you are appropriately protected against the threat of cyber-attacks, you first need to understand the variety of threats out there.
The term malware is used to describe any form of software that has been developed for nefarious purposes. Malware is used to describe a range of malicious software such as spyware, computer viruses, Trojan horses, ransomware, and worms. Malware can come in many different forms but is most commonly activated when the victim clicks on a link.
Once the malware software has been activated, it can have a range of effects:
- Your private data can be stolen and transmitted.
- Your computer can slow down or crash.
- An attacker can gain complete control of your computer.
The list above outlines just a few of how a malware attack can harm an individual. Not all of the effects of a malware attack are immediately visible, and often it can take some time before a victim notices the attack, by which time much damage can have already been done.
Phishing attacks have become increasingly common over the past year. A phishing attack involves the practice of sending a fraudulent message that appears to be from a reputable or trustworthy source. This message’s content will encourage the recipient to click on a link so that malware can be installed on the victim’s device. A phishing attack might also encourage the victim to input their personal information, such as credit card details. Click here to find out more phishing attacks, including how you can protect against them.
- Man-In-The-Middle Attack
A man-in-the-middle attack, otherwise known as an eavesdropping attack, involves a cyber-attacker gaining access to a two-party transaction. When a cyber-attacker is present during a transaction, they can steal data without either party being aware of the crime. Attackers can perform this type of attack by utilizing the weaknesses of an unsecured public Wi-Fi or through a Malware breach.
- Denial-of-Service Attack
A denial-of-service attack, or simply a DoS, involves an attacker overwhelming the processing ability of a system until it cannot legitimate service requests. An attacker will completely flood a system, server, or network with traffic to ensure a system is overwhelmed. This attack usually results in a system being taken offline; this then enables a hacker to perform another type of attack, as the offline system has fewer security measures.
- Structured Query Language Injection
A Structured Query Language injection involves a cyber-attacker inserting malicious code into a server that uses SQL language. This code is used to manipulate the server to reveal otherwise private information. There are many ways that an attacker can perform a Structured Query Language injection. The most common technique used in an SQL attack involves the cybercriminal submitting malicious code into a vulnerable website search box.
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