Cyber Cops

What is a Cyber Attack ?

What is a Cyber Attack

Any action that is designed in such a way that it targets a computer or a computerized information system to change, steal, or destroy data and exploit the network is known as a cyber-attack. With the increasing use of technology in businesses, the risks of cyber-attacks have also increased. Digitization has definitely made things easier. However, as every coin has two sides, digitization also has its pros and cons. But you do not need to worry, because at Cyber Cops we do not get afraid of cyber-attacks, we counter them. But first, let's learn about different cyber-attacks that can be done on any system.

There are a variety of cyber-attacks that can be performed on any system. All these attacks can prove to be very dangerous for your organization. If you own a business or are part of a security team in any organization, this blog will be very helpful for you.

Most Common Cyber Attacks

Dos or DDos Attacks

When a system is affected by DoS attack, the target site is flooded with inorganic traffic. The systems are overwhelmed so much that the resources are unable to register or reply to legitimate requests. A DDoS attack is started by a vast array of malware-infected host devices that are controlled by the hacker. The site needs to respond to every request but when it is under DoS attack, all the resources get consumed by the responses. It becomes very hard for websites to serve users as it does normally which results in complete shutdown of the website.

The objective of any DoS or DDoS attack is simply to intervene with the smooth workflow of the target. There is no monetary benefit for the hackers, however, it might be a planned attack by any competitor or someone who does not wish the best for your organization.

It is also possible that the DoS attack is just a cover up for any other attack. It might be there just to create a vulnerability in the system. When a successful DoS or DDoS attack is performed, the system often must come offline.

Man in the Middle Attacks (MITM)

Man in the Middle Attacks are a type of attack that refers to breaches in cybersecurity that makes it easier for a hacker to eavesdrop in between transfer of data. The hacker can see and store the data sent back and forth between two destinations. That is why it is called man in the middle attack. Basically, the attacker is simply spying on the interaction between two parties.

In this type of attack, the two parties communicating with each other will feel that they are communicating in a normal way but what they do not know is that someone is illicitly sneaking in and storing every single piece of data. The hacker also has the power to modify or delete a certain piece of data before it reaches the destination. Some ways to protect yourself and your organization from such an attack are to use the strongest form of encryption on access points or use a Virtual Private Network.

Phishing Attacks

A phishing attack occurs when a hacker pretends to be someone with authority and communicates with you. The communication medium could be anything from mail to text messages. The mail will be so accurately designed that it will give you a feeling of authenticity. This method uses social engineering and technology to set a trap. They will ask for your sensitive information like bank account details, home address etcetera. This is called a phishing attack because the attacker is using the identity of an authorized source as bait for you. Once you believe the mail, the work is done.

For executing the attack, the hacker will send you a link that will redirect you to a website that has a similar look and feel to the authentic website. The site will ask you for sensitive data that may include your bank credentials or other information that might be used to manipulate you. In most cases, the victim has no idea that their privacy is breached, and the hacker can continue to make the same attempt on different people in the organization.

Whale-Phishing Attacks

A whale-phishing attack is similar to a phishing attack; however, the difference lies in the selection of victim. Hackers go after the owner of a business. They can be called big fish or whales of the organization. It majorly includes C-Suite or other employees who have clearance to the highest level. It is very likely that these individuals have the most exclusive information about the enterprise such as operations of business.

It will be a tremendous win for hackers if the targeted whale downloads ransomware. They are more likely to pay because even if this news comes out, it will leave a negative impact on the image of the organization. To avoid Whale-phishing, one should carefully examine every Email and their attachments before clicking on them.

Spear-phishing attacks

Spear Phishing is used as a term for targeting specific victims. The hacker does proper research of their targets and understands the lifestyle of the person. The hacker will then send their target a message that the person will find relatable. The message will seem so legitimate that no one can tell that it is from an illicit source. This is called spear phishing because the hacker sets a target just like the fisher man does with their spear.

Most common methods of Spear-phishing attack use email spoofing. The information under the “from” portion is faked to make it look like the email is coming from a different source, that can be the victim's friend, family member or a co-worker. The hacker can also copy the interface of a legitimate website and use it there to provide you with a comfort zone. These attacks can be prevented if you check the website carefully before filling in the details. If you ever get a sense that a link is not legitimate, do not open it.


Ransomware is the type of attack that is done for the sole purpose of monetary benefits. The system of the victim is kept as a hostage until they pay the required amount to attackers. The attacker will then send a key which will decrypt all your files.

Ransomware is most commonly spread through downloads from unauthorized sources. Most of the time when we do not want to buy paid software, we try to download the cracked version. It is the most insecure practice that is a reason for a Ransomware attack. What we fail to understand is that it requires only one small file containing a malicious code, which will lock us out of our system. Often these codes are embedded in the software and are activated when the software is installed. The malicious codes then do the job and encrypt all our files. We might also see a message on screen which conveys that

“you have been hacked” and “you will have to pay a certain amount to decrypt your system”

To prevent these kinds of attacks one should always use the next generation firewall that can efficiently detect and stop the ransomware code from being executed

Malware attacks

Malware is an abbreviated term for malicious software. Malware infects the computer in a way that can change the way its system was designed to work. It might destroy all the data, spy on you for some time, or do a planned attack when it is triggered. Whatsoever the effect might be, it will be too late when you get to know that your system has been infected. Malware has the power to spread from one device to another without being seen.

However, malware cannot install itself on any computer. The initiation is always done by the user. It is mostly embedded in another software and is triggered when someone installs the software. Malware will automatically be installed and ready to spread to any device that is connected to the system

Trojan Horse

A trojan horse is a malicious code that is embedded within innocent software. When the user executes the program, the malware inside the trojan activates and does its job. This will act as a major vulnerability for your system. It will create a backdoor that can be accessed by any hacker to enter your system or network. The main agenda of trojan horse is to enter your system without being caught.

Prevention of this virus is very simple. Do not use unauthorized websites to download any file. You will not have any idea when a vulnerability will set up a welcoming door for hackers.

These are some of the most common attacks that hackers use to gain access to your system or network. However, the threats do not end here. There are various other types of attack that are less common but equally harmful.

Let's look at some of them

Password Attacks

As understood by the name, under this attack the hacker tries to gain access to your system by figuring out your password. Hackers will use different tools like Aircrack, Abel, etcetera to crack your password.

SQL Injection Attacks

This type of attack is carried out on database-driven websites. The hacker will try to get access to crucial information by inserting a malicious code in the search bar. The hacker will then be able to view, edit and delete the data according to their preferences.

Insider Threat

An insider threat can be an individual that is working for the organization and has access to the systems or can gain access to the system. They have the potential to cause tremendous damage. These threats are more common in small businesses as they have very small staff that have access to multiple


Cryptojacking is the process of accessing someone else's computer and using it to mine crypto currency. Mining is a very heavy process that will affect the general performance of your computer. The hackers gain access to multiple systems and do their mining simultaneously.

Zero-Day Exploit

A zero-day exploit refers to the network vulnerability being public. Basically, the security vendor informs the vulnerability to the public so that they can be safe. However, this information also catches the sight of hackers, and they try to use that vulnerability as early as possible. There are always some people who are not properly informed about the vulnerabilities and some of them become victims of the attack.

Watering Hole Attack

In this type of attack, the victims are mostly a particular group of an organization. The hacker will identify the websites that are frequently visited by these members and then malware is planted there. When these people access the website, it is automatically downloaded to the victim's computer. Now the hacker has a vulnerability to exploit in the organization’s system.


Under this attack, the hacker pretends to be someone else and accesses the sensitive information to do malicious activities.

Identity Based Attacks

This attack is done to steal or manipulate someone else’s personal information such as login credentials and gain unauthorized access to their systems.

Code Injection Attacks

This type of attack is done by inserting malicious codes into a software application to manipulate its data. A perfect example for these types of attacks will be putting a malicious code in SQL database.

Supply Chain Attacks

Exploitation of hardware or software supply chain vulnerabilities to gather sensitive information is known as a Supply Chain Attack.

DNS Tunneling

Under this type of attack, hackers use Domain Name System to cross the security measures and communicate with the remote server.

DNS spoofing

When a hacker manipulates the DNS records from a website and controls its traffic, it is called DNS spoofing.

IoT-Based attacks

The hackers gain access to smart home appliances that are connected to the internet such as security cameras, speakers, light bulbs etcetera. From here he can steal a lot of data about your daily routine.

Corporate Account Takeover (CATO)

Under this attack, hackers simply use stolen login credentials to gain access to someone’s bank account.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Cash Out

Hackers gain access to bank’s computer systems and withdraw large amounts of money from the ATMs.

URL Interpretation

The hacker programs the browser to interpret a URL and requests the corresponding web page to exploit vulnerabilities in the URL interpretation.

Session Hijacking

The hacker will gain access to a user’s session ID to authenticate the user’s session with a web application and take control of the user’s session.

Brute Force Attacks

This is the easiest form of attack for any professional hacker. They will try different passwords to get access to the victim’s system until they find the right one. It is highly effective against weak passwords.

Web attacks

Under this attack, hackers target websites where they can insert SQL injection, cross-site scripting(XSS) and file inclusion.

Drive-by Attacks

The victim's system is flooded with malware when they visit a compromised website. The malware exploits the vulnerabilities in other software to insert the malware without the user’s knowledge.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks

A hacker infuses unauthorized code into a legitimate website to get access to the user’s information and steals sensitive data like bank credentials.

Eavesdropping Attacks

The hacker intervenes between a communication of two parties to access sensitive data and stores it for malpractice.

Volume Based Attack

In this type of attack, the hacker sends in heavy data to a system that makes the system inaccessible for legitimate users. DDoS attack is a very prime example of Volume Based Attack

Protocol Attacks

The attacker exploits the vulnerabilities in the network protocol to gain unauthorized access of a system. This attack might also be done just to rupture the workflow of a system

Dictionary Attacks

Under this sort of attack, the hacker tries to crack your password using all the words available in the dictionary. This attack turns out to be fruitful if the system has a weak password.


A virus is a malicious code in software that can replicate itself and spread out on other computers. This can cause significant damage to the systems. It might corrupt your files, steal information and open backdoors for hackers.


It is named worm because of its replicating power. However, unlike Viruses, Worms do not require human interaction.


This vulnerability allows the attacker to cross the standard authentication procedures to gain unauthorized access to a system or a network.


Bots are software or programs that are automated to do internet tasks. They can be used for illicit purposes such as DDoS attacks.

Business Email Compromise

As conveyed by the name, under this attack, hackers send organizations an Email pretending to be a trusted source and trick them for monetary benefits.

Cross Site Scripting

In this attack, the hacker injects malicious codes into a vulnerable website for stealing sensitive data. This can also be done to perform unauthorized attacks.


Under this attack, the hacker gets privileged access to the victim’s computer. It can be used to hide other types of malwares which could be very difficult to detect.




It is a malware designed to steal sensitive information. It can also spread out on other computers connected to the network. It is often spread through phishing emails which are difficult to track.


This type of malware displays unwanted advertisements on the victim’s computer. It turns out to be very annoying for the victim’s computer system.

These were some of the less common ways used by hackers to gain access to your computer. You should always take precautionary measures so that hackers cannot gain access to the system. These attacks can be done on individual as well as organizational computers.

How to prevent Cyber Attack

Prevention of cyber-attack is not that difficult. You just need to keep a few things in mind such as

  • Changing passwords after a certain interval
  • Update your applications and operating systems regularly
  • Use a firewall or antivirus
  • Avoid clicking on emails from sources you do not understand
  • Using VPN
  • Training employees to counter attacks
  • Using two factor authentication
  • Securing your WI-FI

If you keep these pointers in mind, there are very small chances that your system might get affected.

How We Can Help

At Cyber Cops we believe that digital security is a must have feature for any organization. We provide tailored security options that will be most suitable for your company. We take pride in saying that we have a proven track record with a satisfied customer base. We have a team of professionals who can check your systems for vulnerabilities and set you up with the best security system. These professionals will also let you know if you need to make any changes to the infrastructure and employee training.
Cyber Cops will be your shield against malpractitioners and keep your digital presence safe, always.

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