Types of Cyber Vulnerabilities

Cyber Vulnerabilities are flaws that hackers can exploit to bypass security controls and gain unwarranted access to systems. Such vulnerabilities include malware such as spyware which tracks online activity to send hackers login and password information; man-in-the-middle attacks which intercept communications between two users; or fileless malware, which resides within native code without alerting the victim of its presence.

Drive-By-Download Attacks

People no longer need to click on links or download programs to install malware; now, all it takes is visiting a compromised web page (known as a drive-by download attack) infected with viruses and malicious code for infection to occur. Drive-by download attacks typically target adult content sites, file-sharing services, gambling platforms or hacking services; however, they could happen even on sites which appear legitimate and safe.

Drive-by download attacks start when hackers inject small malware into websites - usually as popup adverts - such as malicious ones. Once on the site, this code scans for security flaws in your device, browser or operating system to exploit vulnerabilities to download additional malware - including keyloggers (software that tracks keystrokes), adware, bots, banking Trojans, ransomware or full-on spyware.

types of cyber vulnerabilities

Attackers often employ obfuscation techniques to conceal their code as part of their campaign to ensure malware can run on your device. Therefore, users must regularly update their operating systems, browsers and plugins with new versions as this reduces potential vulnerabilities exploitable through drive-by download attacks.

Becoming the victim of a drive-by download cyberattack can create numerous difficulties for individuals and their businesses. An attack could install banking Trojans onto your devices that give attackers control of your online accounts or infiltrate them with ransomware that encrypts files before demanding payments to unlock them again. Other types of cyberattacks commonly used within this category include adware which exposes you to intrusive ads; browser hijackers, which alter browser settings or direct searchers towards irrelevant search results; or malware which alters browser settings or redirects results or alters browser settings or redirects searches results from searches or website content providers.

The good news is that you can take steps to safeguard yourself and your business against cyberattacks of this nature. By providing employee training, updating software regularly, and taking preventive measures when browsing online, you can help minimize the risks of drive-by download attacks. Incorporating an EDR/EPP solution using machine learning detection for these attacks could stop them before they damage data or put customers at risk.

Malware

Almost anyone can make a mistake when designing or coding technology. When nefarious actors exploit these mistakes to manipulate the technology in ways it is not intended, they become vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities allow hackers to force software to act in ways that can damage a business's network, gain access to sensitive information and more.

When cybercriminals leverage a vulnerability to create malware, they can gain direct unauthorized access to a system or network and use it to steal, corrupt, or destroy data. Hackers use many tools to mount malicious attacks, including remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities, exploit kits and more.

Exploiting vulnerabilities enables threat actors to gain control of systems and networks and steal valuable information such as personal, financial and healthcare records; passwords; medical and diagnostic information; and more. Threat actors can then use the stolen information for various illicit activities, from demanding a ransom to creating giant networks of "zombie" intelligent devices to spy on customers.

Malware is a broad term that includes any computer program designed to damage a programmable device, service or network. Its diversity is its greatest strength and the primary reason it is a significant cybersecurity threat. It can take many forms, from viruses that alter a system's operations to worms that spread to other devices on a network or host. Some types of malware, such as rootkits, can even provide attackers with administrator privileges on an infected system.

As with drive-by downloads, vulnerabilities usually result from network and OS misconfigurations or outdated or unpatched applications that open the application to attack. Attackers have discovered a zero-day vulnerability that has not yet been patched by the software vendor, making it particularly dangerous. User behaviour can also create vulnerabilities, such as clicking on links in email or instant messaging. This often results in the infection of a mobile or desktop device. These infections are then used to launch other attacks, such as a distributed denial of service attack or cryptocurrency mining.

Phishing Attacks

Human error or software defects and cybersecurity vulnerabilities provide an entryway for cyber attackers to bypass security controls and gain unauthorized access to systems.

Cybercriminals use vulnerabilities as entryways into systems to run code, install malware or steal data. A strong cybersecurity posture and following best practices can help organizations avoid and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities and attacks.

Vulnerabilities are at the core of every cyberattack, and as organizations become more complex, they become more susceptible to vulnerabilities. Network vulnerabilities range from poorly secured wireless access points to misconfigured firewalls that don't adequately secure their networks; operating system (OS) vulnerabilities range from software flaws such as unpatched software versions up to targeted attacks that flood servers with fake requests.

Web application vulnerabilities, including cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection attacks, are another widespread risk. They're all caused by improper neutralization of user input during web page generation processes and exploited by sending false requests to servers that generate malicious scripts, which then reach end users.

Cyberattackers employ phishing attacks to infiltrate networks by dumping employees into opening malware attachments or clicking links that appear legitimate but contain malware. Phishing attacks may target individuals or groups in various forms, including spam, spear, smishing, vishing, and whaling techniques often employed to gain entry.

Repetitive brute force attacks are another famous technique threat actors use to gain entry. Once inside, attackers can use that time to move laterally within networks and install back doors for future attacks.

Failure to monitor and alert for lateral movement between systems within a network is also a significant weakness, often caused by subnet monitoring issues or using proxy servers that don't block specific outbound traffic. Utilizing micro-segmentation policies with more restrictive policies and monitoring outbound traffic may reduce this vulnerability.

Social Engineering Attacks

Attackers use various tools and techniques to bypass security controls and gain illegal entry to systems or networks. Once an attacker gains entry, they can then expand their attack by stealing more sensitive data or causing additional damage.

Today's cyber attacks often exploit weaknesses or flaws in applications. This type of weakness can occur due to poor design, bugs in programming code, or errors during the development process, often going undetected for long periods and being exploited by attackers as an attack vector.

One standard error people make with their computer is leaving it unattended or using weak passwords, which allow attackers to gain entry and steal information. Attackers could then use this knowledge against other employees, gain access to sensitive data, or install malware.

Cybercriminals often use social engineering attacks to penetrate organizations and spread malicious content.

One way to prevent these types of attacks is through employee education and encouraging them to question any suspicious emails or requests. Employees who receive an email requesting sensitive data or credit card numbers electronically should check with their boss before responding. Companies should provide regular staff training on cyber security to enable employees to identify social engineering attacks and consistently implement best practice security protocols.

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