CyberAttacks may happen more often than you think, with a Clark School study at the University of Maryland finding that Cyberattacks occur every 39 seconds. While there are a number of tools that help identify and mitigate attacks on your network and users, it is best to have foundational knowledge on the common types of cyberattacks. In this article we'll cover the most common types of attacks, and how they occur.
SQL injection (SQLI) is one of the most common types of cyberattacks. The method consists of injecting SQL data into a database to expose or manipulate data intended to be private.
The impacts to a business as a result of an SQLI attack can vary based on what information is compromised. Generally, SQLI attacks give a hacker
- The ability to view data intended to be private
- Access to encrypted data
- The ability to delete tables of data
- Gain administrative access to a database
In most scenarios above, businesses will incur a financial impact depending on the severity of the attack. However, one of the largest vulnerabilities to these types of attacks is losing customer trust or loyalty.
The most common types of SQLI attacks are
In-band SQLI attack
In-band SQLI attacks are where a hacker uses the same channel of communication to gather data and results. These attacks are often carried out by an attacker using error-based data to gather information about the database structure, or by utilizing the SQL UNION operator to join multiple SELECT statements together and return a single HTTP response.
Blind SQLI attack
Blind SQLI attacks often use a trial and error approach of testing queries against databases that have known results. For example, attackers may (blindly) make requests with the hopes of the results returned being different if the query is TRUE or FALSE, to understand whether a boolean field determines the results.
Cross-Site scripting (XSS)
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks are a type of injection in which scripts, often malicious, are injected into a website. The most common method of XSS attacks is when an attacker uses a website application to inject malicious code into the website database or file system. These attacks can be carried out through any input on a website, often within a form on the website.
Results of XSS attacks can range from redirecting a user to a different page, to gaining access to an end-user's browser cookies, session tokens, or sensitive information.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is when an attacker attempts to disrupt a network or server with an overwhelming number of requests, which can cause a server to be overworked due to the amount of responses it is trying to deliver at once - Essentially creating a traffic-jam on the network. DDoS attacks are often carried out by infected machines (called bots) that request information from a target server.
Man in the Middle (MITM)
A Man in the Middle (MITM) attack is when an attacker positions themselves between a web application and an end-user to gather information about the end-user without them knowing. The two forms of MITM attacks are where an attacker either listens to the requests and responses between a web application and end-user, or where they may impersonate one or the other to gather sensitive information.
The most common types of MITM attacks are to gain sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, or information that will allow an attacker to update passwords.
Phishing attacks are carried out by attackers to steal end-user information that will allow them to gain access to certain applications by gaining the trust of a user by either impersonating a trusted source through email, direct message, or texts.
The recipient of a phishing attack will inadvertently provide sensitive information by assuming that they are entering it into the application of a trusted source, but in fact, is being entered into a 3rd party application mirroring the look of the trusted source.
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