Types of Network Security Attacks

Types of Network Security Attacks

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Internet is today’s bread-giver as many people rely on it for various professional, social, and personal activities. The communication, sharing of data, business transactions, or in short, the entire trade and commerce industry is dependent on the network. Though the internet can network and connect the world-at-large, some people may attempt to damage and disrupt these networks repeatedly for various reasons. These attackers violate privacy and intrude the internet-connected devices either to retrieve information or to make it inoperable.

In the wake of a variety of existing frequent network attacks and the threat of new destructive future attacks, network security has gained prominence in the scope of computer networking.

Often, network security engineers, analysts, and administrators are held responsible for the safety of the IT network. Hence, it is important for them to know and understand what the latest and most prominent network security policies are to combat the rising threats.

Common Types of Networking Attacks

1. Virus

A virus is not self-executable; it requires the user’s interaction to infects a computer and spread on the network. An example is an email with a malicious link or malicious attachment. When a recipient opens the attachment or clicks the link, the malicious code gets activated and circumvents the systems security controls and makes they inoperable. In this case, the user inadvertently corrupts the device.

2. Malware

Malware attack is one of the most severe cyberattacks that is specifically designed to destroy or gain unauthorized access over a targeted computer system. Most malware is self-replicating, i.e., when it infects a particular system, it gains entry over the internet and from thereon, infects all the systems connected to the internet in the network. An external endpoint device if connected, will also get infected. It works exceptionally faster than other types of malicious content.

3. Worm

A worm can enter a device without the help of the user. When a user runs a vulnerable network application, an attacker on the same internet connection can send malware to that application. The application may accept the malware from the internet and execute it, thereby creating a worm.

4. Phishing

Phishing is the most common types of network attacks. It stands for sending emails purporting as from known resources or bankers and creating a sense of urgency to excite user to act on it. The email may contain malicious link or attachment or may ask to share confidential information.

5. Botnet

It is a network of private computers which are a victim of malicious software. The attacker controls all the computers on the network without the owner’s knowledge. Each computer on the network is considered as zombies as they serve the purpose of spreading and infecting a large number of devices or as guided by the attacker.

6. DoS (Denial of Service)

A Denial of Service is a crucial attack that destroys fully or partially, victim’s network or the entire IT infrastructure to make it unavailable to the legitimate users.

The DoS attacks can be categorized in the following three parts –

  1. Connection flooding:
    The attacker bogs down the host by establishing a large number of TCP connections at the targeted host. These fake connections block the network and make it unavailable to legitimate users.
  2. Vulnerability attack:
    By sending a few well-crafted messages to the vulnerable operating system or application running on the targeted host, stops the service or make it worse to the extent that the host crashes.
  3. Bandwidth flooding:
    The attacker prevents legitimate packets from reaching the server by sending a deluge of packets. The packets sent are large in number so that the target’s link gets blocked for others to access.

7. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

It is a complex version of a DoS attack and is much harder to detect and defend compared to a DoS attack. In this attack, the attacker uses multiple compromised systems to target a single DoS attack targeted system. The DDoS attack also leverages botnets.

8. Man-in-the-middle

A man-in-the-middle attack is someone who stands in between the conversation happening between you and the other person. By being in the middle, the attacker captures, monitors, and controls your communication effectively. For example, when the lower layer of the network sends information, the computers in the layer may not be able to determine the recipient with which they are exchanging information.

9. Packet Sniffer

When a passive receiver placed in the territory of the wireless transmitter, it records a copy of every packet transmitted. These packets can contain confidential information, sensitive and crucial data, trade secrets, etc. which when flew over a packet receiver will get through it. The packet receiver will then work as a packet sniffer, sniffing all the transmitted packets entering the range. The best defense against packet sniffer is cryptography.

10. DNS Spoofing

It is about compromising a computer by corrupting domain name system (DNS) data and then introducing in the resolver’s cache. This causes the name server to return an incorrect IP address.

11. IP Spoofing

It is the process of injecting packets in the internet using a false source address and is one of the ways to masquerade as another user. An end-point authentication that ensures the certainty of a message originating from the place we determined would help in defending from IP spoofing.

12. Compromised Key

An attacker gains unauthorized access to a secured communication using a compromised key. A key refers to a secret number or code required to interpret secured information without any intimation to the sender or receiver. When the key is obtained by the attacker, it is referred to as a compromised key which serves as a tool to retrieve information.

Network security is not defined or limited to updating the systems regularly and installing a reliable antivirus. To monitor, protect, and combat the different types of network attacks, an organization needs a qualified Network Defender. While there are many network security certifications, EC-Council offers Certified Network Defender (C|ND) certification program that focuses on converting network administrators into network defensive experts who are trained to protect, detect, and respond to network security threats.

There are currently over 100,000 network security jobs available around the world.

Become job-ready with this network security training, which gives a fundamental understanding of network security firewall configuration, controls, perimeter appliances, protocols, secure IDS and VPN configuration, intricacies of network traffic, etc. that helps the network defender in framing advanced security policies and implement incident response plans successfully.

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