Types of Cyberattacks

Today being a victim of a cyberattack is not uncommon. Cyberattacks can come in many forms over the internet, and every time you’re on, your chances of being attacked increases. The different kinds of cyberattacks one can be susceptible to are malware, password, denial-of-service, and many more. Malware is simply any computer code that has “malicious intent.” Malware typically consists of viruses, spyware, and worms. According to Pennsylvania State University’s blog, “Viruses replicate themselves, and they survive by attaching to other programs or files.” Since the viruses are able to replicate themselves, this can allow them to remain dormant until they actually cause harm to one’s computer software. Like viruses, spyware,  remains in hiding, but t can still cause some damage while doing so. Spyware is known for stealing people’s confidential information, and it is also smart enough as to where it “can log the various activities performed by a user” (Pennsylvania State University). Lastly, worms are like viruses because they can also replicate themselves. The worms are considered more dangerous than viruses because they “can also replicate across an entire network of computers” (Pennsylvania State University). Another type of cyberattacks are password attacks. Password attacks consist of brute-force attacks and dictionary attacks. Password attacks are typically used by hackers and focus on trying to hack into a victim’s password in order to gain access to a secured system. A brute-force attack is “executed when an attacker tries to use all possible combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols to enter a correct password” (Pennsylvania State University). The dictionary attack involves the use of a dictionary in order to hack into the victim’s password. The last attack is denial-of-service attack, which tends to focus on interrupting a network service. There are four ways a criminal can issue a denial-of-service attack. The four ways are teardrop, buffer overflow, smurf, and physical. There are many incidents of denial-in-service attacks, some of the victims have been MasterCard, Twitter, and Estonia. Typically bigger companies are victims of cyberattacks, but the average person can be a victim as well. An article on InfoWorld mentioned the five cyberattacks that a person will encounter. The five cyberattacks are 1. Socially engineered Trojans, 2. Unpatched software, 3. Phishing attacks, 4. Networks-traveling worms, and 5. Advanced persistent threats. It is important for people to be aware of what they receive in their inbox, because it is estimated that about 70 percent of email is spam (Grimes, R.A., 2012). These are just a few of the cyberattacks that can occur to one’s computer, and if they are not recognized and fixed, these cyberattacks can cause harm to the victim’s computer. Since cyberattacks are becoming more popular, it is important for people to gain more information about these attacks and better prepare themselves from becoming a victim of a cyberattack.

References

Types of attacks. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved from http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/m/jms6423/Engproj/Types%20of%20Attacks.xhtml

Grimes, R.A. (2012, December 04). The five cyber attacks you are most likely to face. InfoWorld. Retrieved from http://www.infoworld.com/article/2616316/security/the-5-cyber-attacks-the-most-liekly-to-face.html

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Hackers

hackers-omar-santosImage retrieved from Omar Santos’ Blog Internet Security, Technology, Science, Math, and Tech Stuff 

When the subject of cybercrime comes up, many people refer to hackers as the root of it all. While being portrayed in movies and television, hackers have become the main focal point in cybercrime. The definition of a hacker can sometimes be difficult to explain, but Taylor et al. (2015) states that a hacker is an “individual with a profound interest in computers and technology that has used this knowledge to access computer systems with or without authorization from the system owners” (p. 70). This definition does a great job at explaining what the job of a hacker is. Hackers are commonly referred to as criminals, but in actuality not all hackers are. There are people who are professional hackers, but the main difference between them and those who are actually committing a crime is authorization. Authorization is key because the individual doing the hacking must have permission to do so.

There are several types of hackers, which includes crackers, script kiddies, white hat, gray hat, and black hat hackers, and hacktivists. The first type of hacker mentioned are crackers. These types of hackers are malicious hackers. Script kiddies often try to exploit and show whoever they hacked, that the company’s website is vulnerable to being hacked. A perfect example of script kiddies are those who troll social media sites. White hat hackers are referred to as ethical hackers. They often test software by manufacturers and training. A gray hat hacker is “someone who typically behaves in an ethical manner, but sometimes violates accepted ethics” (Taylor et al., 2015, p. 78). One way that they could violate ethics is to hack for profit. Black hat hackers are normally crackers. These hackers typically avoid ethics. Lastly, hacktivists are individuals who use the skills of a hacker to express messages.

Hacking has been no stranger to the different news outlets. Recently it has been found that hackers are able to break into baby monitors that are connected to the internet, which is very frightening to parents. Baby monitors that are connected to the internet are becoming easy targets for hackers because of the lack of security. Many baby monitors that are able to connect to the internet do not require passwords to access them, which makes them vulnerable to being hacked. According to Herb Scribner, who writes for Desert News National, reported “Several parents across the United States have seen their baby monitors hacked in the last five years.” It is scary to know that while you are able to view your child online a hacker could be watching the child too. A solution for this could be to get new monitors that only allow you to hear your child and also child monitoring systems to be securely protected.

Hackers are both interesting and important to understand when it comes to cybercrime. Their can either play a positive or negative role in today’s society. Those who are authorized to hack, such as the government can help gain information which could better protect the United States from future attacks whether it is physical or cyberterrorism. If a hacker who is not authorized to accessing that information, the company can only learn from their security mistakes. They then can learn how to make their security protocols better and prevent future attacks from occurring.

References:

Scribner, H. (2015, September 4). Baby monitors are easy targets for hackers. Desert News National. Retrieved from http://national.deseretnews.com/article/5756/baby-monitors-are-easy-targets-for-hackers.html

Taylor, R., Fritsch, E., & Liederbach, J. (2015). Hackers. In Digital crime and digital terrorism (Third e., pp. 69-96). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.