The Top Types of Cybersecurity Attacks of 2019, Till Date

The Top Types of Cybersecurity Attacks of 2019, Till Date

According to the U.K. government’s Cybersecurity Breaches Survey 2019, over 32% of businesses have identified breaches in the last 12 months.[1] But it is crucial to know how the attacks manifest, the most prominent cyberattacks to the businesses today?

The Top Cyberattacks, So Far

1. Phishing

Phishing is one of the forms of social engineering attacks where perpetrator sends malicious links or an infected attachment to divulge sensitive information. The attacker tries convincing the users to download the malicious link or open the malicious attachments to compromise the data or share the confidential information.

83% of respondents experienced a phishing attack in 2018, which is an increase from 76% in 2017 – Proofpoint’ 2019 State of the Phish Attack. [2]
Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report revealed that 32% of data breaches involved phishing. [3]

Different types of phishing attacks are –

Vishing: Voice phishing or vishing attack is conducted by phone. The attackers call the victim and profess urgency of sharing the confidential information like bank account password, credit card number, OTP, etc. Criminals then use these details to compromise the victim account.

Smishing: SMS phishing or smishing is getting popular as many people are now using mobile phones at work and in personal lives. The attackers send an SMS with a malicious link or treacherous message that makes the user click the link and share their confidential information impulsively.

Spear Phishing: It is a type of targeted attack which is conducted for monetary benefit or obtains insider information. This is not an instantaneous attack, but an attacker follows a specific pattern to gain the trust of the victim and then compromises the data.

2. Ransomware

It is one of the destructive cyberattacks which have become standard for a few years. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that can quickly spread over a network and can make all the connected systems vulnerable. The virus locks the access to the user and will resume the access only when the victim pays the demanded ransom.

In 2019, a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds and every 11 seconds by 2021. – 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report [4]

3. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

A DDoS attack is performed by disrupting web traffic with an overwhelming response on a system, server, or network so that the website cannot serve to legitimate users. Here, the web traffic is sent from many compromised systems which behave like individual zombies.

DDoS attacks serve purposes like –

  • Revenge against an organization
  • Distracting the organization to focus on restoring a website while the cybercriminals penetrate other vulnerabilities.
  • DDoS attacks result in reputational as well as financial loss enabling many businesses critical to surviving.

4. Viruses

A computer virus is a malicious program that alters the way a computer operates. It is a type of flu that spread from one computer to another without the user’s knowledge. The different forms of how the virus spreads from one computer to another –

  • By opening a malicious email attachment
  • By downloading an executable file from the infected link
  • By visiting an infected website
  • By plugging an infected external storage device
  • By viewing or clicking a malicious website advertisement

 5. Attack Vectors

The attack vectors are used by hackers to gain access over a network or a computer. It is done to infect the system with malware or harvest data. The main types of attack vectors are –

Man-in-the-middle (MITM): In this vector, an attacker intrudes the communication without the knowledge to both the parties. The attacker then gains access to their data and manipulates the communication.

Drive-by: When a user visits a malicious website, the malware gets installed in the browser without the knowledge of the user. The attackers also compromise a legitimate website, and when a user visits the website, drive-by vector gets active and redirects the user to a malicious site again.

SQL Injection: A structured query language injection is an attack performed by executing a query to the database. The attacker inserts malicious code into a website that uses SQL as a database language. When there is an existing vulnerability in the application’s software, SQL Injections succeed, forcing a server to provide requested data.

Zero-day attack: It stands for outdated or unpatched software contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited by the cybercriminals. Vulnerability is made public before a patch, or an update is rolled out by the developer.

The most resilient organization are also targeted by the cybercriminals because of the negligent employees. According to research by Kroll, 88% of the data breaches in the U.K. are due to the most-weakest link, i.e., human error.

Security Awareness Aaves Both – Reputation and Money

As we are about to enter the Cybersecurity month of the year, October, let us spread security awareness. Educated and informed employees serve as your first life of defense. By training them on security awareness, you can empower them to make better security decisions. A cost-effective way of doing this is to attain and acquire EC-Council’s Certified Secure Computer User (C|SCU) program. The program provides individuals with required skills and knowledge to protect their information assets. It is an excellent offering in the domain of security and networking.


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