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10 Most Common Cyber Attacks

As today’s tech becomes more advanced and varied, so have cyberattacks. These malicious and deliberate attempts to steal, disrupt, or destroy information and systems can be devastating for businesses.

As today’s tech becomes more advanced and varied, so have cyberattacks. These malicious and deliberate attempts to steal, disrupt, or destroy information and systems can be devastating for businesses.

The best way to protect your company from cyberattacks is to be aware of how you can be targeted. Here is our list of the top ten most common cyber-attacks to take note of.


Phishing is when attackers send fraudulent messages that appear legitimate. It’s called phishing because the attacker is fishing for information. These messages usually contain malicious links that lead to a phishing website so that they can get your username and password. The messages can also have attached files or links that lead to harmful files or code that allow attackers to install malware.

Phishing happens in the form of emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media messages, including Facebook messages.


“Malware” is a broad term that encompasses multiple kinds of cyber-attacks. They all involve installing malicious software onto the victim’s system.

These are a few of the most common types of malware:

  • Viruses–These are a type of malware that infects the code on legitimate applications, then replicates itself over and over to infect other code in the computer.
  • Worms– These are programs sent through email attachments. Once activated, they copy and send themselves to every contact in the victim’s email.
  • Ransomware–These are a type of malware that withholds data from the victim, holding it “for ransom” until the victim pays the attacker a certain amount. They will often threaten to delete or publish all the data they’re withholding.

Denial-of-Service (DOS)

A denial-of-service (DOS) attack differs from other common attacks, as the attacker doesn’t steal any information. Instead, it renders the system nearly impossible to use by overwhelming its resources with traffic. By doing this, the system cannot process and execute regular functions.


A <<man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack>> happens when a hacker intercepts a two-party communication by positioning themselves in between the two devices to eavesdrop on sensitive data. MITM attacks typically occur because of insecure connections, such as public unsecured WiFi or WiFi with easy-to-access passwords.

Brute Force Attack

A brute force attack is when the attacker tries to guess the victim’s password randomly through trial and error. They’ll either write a script to try random popular passwords or use available information about their victims, such as occupation, location, birthdate, and more. Typically, they’ve purchased this information on the dark web or culled it from public sources like a public social media profile.

In addition to gaining access to accounts, hackers will also use these easily guessed passwords for file access and decryption. This is why it is dangerous to use the same or similar password for everything.

Dictionary Attack

Dictionary attacks are when an attacker systematically guesses a list of common passwords to try and gain access. Like a Brute Force attack, once the attacker falls upon the right password, they will try to use it to decrypt and access files.


A rootkit is a malicious code installed into legitimate software. Once the program is installed and given access to the OS, the rootkit will install itself in the system. Then, the attacker has administration-level access and control over a system and can steal information.

Zero-Day Exploit

Zero-day exploits happen when a piece of software or its update is new and doesn’t have any security or protective protocols. Attackers can spot vulnerabilities in code before the developers do and will write malicious code that can steal data from future users.

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is when an attacker compromises interactions between a vulnerable application and a user, allowing up to complete control over the application. This happens when the attacker inserts malicious code into a legitimate web application, thus allowing harmful code to be sent back to the user.

Insider Threats

Insider threats happen when internal authorized access is misused to compromise your company’s systems or data. Someone with internal access could be employees, third-party vendors, contractors, or partners.

Next Steps

Have questions about any of these attacks? Contact us to meet with one of our cybersecurity experts.

The Importance of Software Updates
What is a Man in the Middle Attack?
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Tuesday, 16 April 2024

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