Quick and Easy Safeguards from Common Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks have become extremely common now and most of us have heard if not witnessed various forms of such cyber attacks. This article details out the most common cyber attacks and list the easy prevention options against each of them.

1. Malware

Mostly comes through email attachments, software downloads or operating system vulnerabilities and lot more.

Example – Attacker sent a link containing the PDF for a project. And when you click on that, the malware starts working in background and will affect your machine.Prevent

    • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown senders
    • Always keep your computer up-to-date in aspects of security

2. Phishing

Phishing attacks are sent via email and ask users to click on a link which redirects to a dummy site where an attacker wants victim to enter their personal data.
In some cases, a user has to just click on the link.Example – Attacker sent a link to access an app and that app requires FB login. The FB login page that appears to you is a dummy site which is forged by the attacker. And as you submit the credentials it would all go to the attacker.

Prevent – To avoid these type of attacks, verify before clicking on the link attached in the email.

3. Denial of Service (DOS) Attacks

Attackers send high volume of data or traffic through the network until the network becomes overloaded and unresponsive.Example – DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attacks. In this, the attacker uses multiple computers to send the traffic and the person might not know that his/her computer is a part of DDOS attack. This technique is also called “BOTNETS”.
Prevent – In order to prevent it, regular software updates should be done, online security monitoring and monitor the data flow to identify any suspect in traffic before they cause any harm.

4. Man in the Middle (MITM) Attacks 

In this type of attacks, an attacker obtains the information from the end user or the entity the victim is communicating with. By impersonating both the end points in an online information exchange, the attacker succeeds to gather the information he wants.

Example –  If you are banking online, the man in the middle would communicate with you by impersonating your bank, and communicate with the bank by impersonating you. The man in the middle would then receive all of the information transferred between both parties, which could include sensitive data, such as bank accounts and personal information.

Prevent – In order to prevent these attacks, use encrypted wireless access points only. Like WPA, WPA2, WAP etc. If you need to connect to a website, then make sure it uses only HTTPS. VPN is the best solution to prevent these attacks.

5. Viruses

It is a self-replicating program that attaches itself to another program or file in order to reproduce. It can hide in unlikely locations in the computer memory and attach itself to whatever file it sees fit to execute its code.

Prevent – Never transfer data from removable devices without scanning it with an antivirus. Regularly scan the system for viruses and update virus definitions regularly.

6. Worms

Unlike viruses, worms are self-sustaining programs. Worms do not need another file or program to copy itself. Worms replicate over a network using protocols. Worms are also used to monitor and collect server and traffic activities then transmit it back to its creator.

Prevent – Use a personal firewall to block external access to network services. It is very difficult to get rid of worms, so try to prevent getting them onto your computer in the first place.

7. Trojan horses

A Trojan horse is designed to perform legitimate tasks but it also performs unknown and unwanted activity. It can be the basis of many viruses and worms installing onto the computer as keyboard loggers and backdoor software. In a commercial sense, Trojans can be embedded in trial versions of software and can gather additional intelligence about the target without the person even knowing it happening. All three of these are likely to attack an individual and establishment through emails, web browsers, chat clients, remote software, and updates.

Prevent – Use antivirus or endpoint security software. Use firewall in all computers. Up-to-date with software patches. Implement device control.

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