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What Are the Main Types of Cyber Attacks?

The cyber security landscape is evolving at an incredible pace, new cyber threats are appearing every day, new cyber attacks are being devised by cyber criminals to take advantage of all the bells and whistles opened by ever advancing technology. Cyber attackers have many attack vectors available to them so it’s no wonder that cyber crime damages will hit $6 trillion annually by 2021 – cyber crime damages are currently at $3 trillion.

There are many types of cyber attacks, but this article will focus on the main cyber attack categories – Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), ransomware, cyber extortion, and cyber warfare.

DDoS Attacks

A distributed denial of service attack, otherwise known as DDoS attacks, are cyber attacks that try to make an online service unavailable by sending large amounts of traffic to the server.

DDoS cyber attackers use botnets – networks of infected computers – to launch these cyber attacks. A DDoS cyber attacker sends commands from a command & control centre, using bots in their botnet, to send an overwhelming amount of requests to the cyber victim’s website until it goes offline.

These cyber attacks can be short term or long, extensive cyber attack campaigns last for weeks, months or even years. These cyber attackers are known to rent botnets from other cyber criminals on cyber black markets, Cyber crime forums are notorious for their wide availability of cyber attack opportunities, cyber crime forums provide cyber attackers with cyber weapons such as ransomware and DDoS cyber attacks to be used against cyber victims.

Ransomware Attacks

A ransomware cyber attack is a cyber extortion method which cyber criminals use to obtain money from their cyber victims by using malware to encrypt their files until the victim pays cyber criminals a ransom.

Ransomware cyber attackers use various cyber attack techniques, including phishing emails and cyber attacks delivered via exploit kits.

The types of cyber extortion used by cyber criminals are – ransomware that’s manually installed by cyber attackers on their victims’ computers, ransomware that’s offered as an up-sale during the initial infection of a victim’s computer and ransomware that cyber criminals distribute through email spam.

Cyber Extortion Attacks

A cyber extortion cyber attack is a cyber attack that cyber criminals use to extort money from their cyber victims by threatening to damage or destroy their victim’s data unless the cyber victims pay cyber criminals a ransom. The type of cyber attacks cyber criminals use are cyber attacks that result in cyber victims losing ownership of their data.

Cyber extortion cyber attackers either encrypt the cyber victim’s data with malware or delete it altogether.

Cyber extortion cyber attackers usually do not have decryption keys to unlock their ransomware cyber weapons, this means cyber victims are unable to decrypt their files without paying cyber criminals the cyber ransom.

Cyber Warfare Attacks

A cyber warfare cyber attack is a premeditated cyber attack that’s used by state-sponsored hackers to cause damage, destruction or subversion of computers, networks and information systems for strategic purposes.

These cyber attacks are very different from cyber crime cyber attacks; cyber criminals use cyber attacks to steal cyber victims’ credit card numbers. Cyber criminals use cyber attacks to extort cyber victims by locking their computers unless they pay cyber criminals a ransom. Cyber terrorists aim to disrupt cyber infrastructure and cause terror amongst the general public using cyber attacks.

These are the main types of cyber attacks used by cyber criminals, cyber terrorists and cyber warfare state-sponsored hackers. As technology becomes more advanced, so do cyber attackers’ capabilities and their sophistication of cyber attacks.

Managed service providers offer cyber security managed cyber defence solutions that ensure cyber attacks do not cause cyber disasters for their cyber victims. Managed service providers help cyber victims mitigate the damage caused by cyber attacks and improve the resilience of their cyber defences against future cyber attacks.

Don’t let a cyber attack ruin your business or harm you and your cyber victims cyber infrastructure, contact a managed cyber defence service provider today.

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