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What Are Cyber Attacks? 7 Types of Cyber Attacks You Should Be Aware Of

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29th Jul, 2022
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What Are Cyber Attacks? 7 Types of Cyber Attacks You Should Be Aware Of

The simulated real-world on the internet in the shape of web-based services simplify various aspects of life through its user-friendly and concise tech additions. From creating socialising channels, learning institutions, and shopping portals to encouraging the 3d virtual world with Metaverse, the cyber world is expanding. Naturally, security issues are also becoming more challenging. Like the real-world experiences of malicious activities, cyber-attacks spread across digital services to infect systems and disrupt their smooth functioning. 

As the web of networking continues to get detailed and bigger, the chances of cyber-attacks equally grow bigger. With countless devices attached at its endpoints, carrying out business operations and maintaining security is a growing challenge for organisations, and cyber-attacks are its root cause. Moreover, easy accessibility for customers makes it open to threats from malicious entities. So, how can one prevent these attacks on their system?

Learning about cyber attacks and their different types can help identify them and take the necessary preventative measures. So, let’s learn more about it! 

What are Cyber Attacks?

Imagine a thief visiting your home with a personal grudge and motto, trying to steal your things or simply disrupt the things lying around. Cyber attacks work in the same manner. 

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Cyber attacks are threats posed by an individual or organisation that intrudes into the user system to steal information or disrupt system processes. The attacker seeks out sensitive data, such as confidential documents, personal information, etc.

Although cyber-attacks are often carried out of revenge or in search of monetary benefits by malicious entities, system vulnerabilities can also invite cyber attacks. Cybercriminals use different methods and mottos to seep through the systems. It is one of the biggest concerns faced by multiple entities, individuals, or companies in the current digital space.

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Why do Cyber Attacks occur?

Cyber attacks root from many causes that may range from personal to professional. Some are directed towards individuals or organisations due to personal grudges. However, cyber attacks are generally divided into three groups- Political, Criminal, and Personal. 

Political reasons for cyber-attack may include efforts to defame the relevant party through sharing malicious information or exposing confidential details. Socio-political attackers also try to gain attention through these tactics. 

Personal cyber attacks are usually carried out on individuals as a tool for revenge by people holding grudges, including hacking, misusing credentials, etc. On the other hand, criminal cyber threats conducted by criminal groups and affiliated individuals illegally obtain money from people, spy, retrieve confidential details, or steal data for competitive advantage. 

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How often do Cyber Attacks occur? 

With the digital sphere experiencing advancement, cybercriminals are also improving their ways to seep through systems with minimal vulnerabilities. Around 1.1 million cases of cyber attacks were recorded in India in 2020, which are consistently going up as digitisation is increasing. Statistics are further estimating the global growth of cyber-crime costs to reach up to $10.5 by 2025, proving their frequent occurrence across the globe. 

Reports and researchers say most cyber security threats are subjected to small ventures unequipped to deal with such attacks. While getting resources and a defence system against cyber-crimes can be pricey for small businesses, ample knowledge and preventive measures can effectively lower system vulnerabilities and cybercriminal breaches.

Types of Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks comprise a large set of varying tactics hackers and criminal groups use to break through systems and carry out thefts or disruptions. These are some of the commonly faced cyber attacks. 

1. Malware

Malware is intrusive software specifically created to disrupt a system and destroy data. It can cause disruptions to servers, systems, networks, and storage to either steal or completely erase databases.

2. Phishing Attack

Phishing is a scam attack where the attacker sends fake messages to extract sensitive information. For example, emails and messages that claim to provide customers with lottery money through bank details or credit card numbers are most likely to be phishing attacks.

3. Man-in-the-Middle Attack

As the name suggests, the attacker veils as the man in the middle to eavesdrop or impersonate other people to steal confidential details, manipulate the conversation, or entirely disrupt the communication.

4. Denial of Service Attack

In this attack, the attacker aims to disrupt servers or the website network to make any website or portal unavailable to the customers. The attackers flood the servers with requests making them incapable of handling the web traffic, and eventually, crash.

5. Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing refers to gaining unauthorised access to websites using stolen sensitive credentials from other users, usually through a list of usernames and passcodes. The attacker fraudulently uses the account to retrieve information or steal.

6. SQL Injections

SQL Injection vulnerability allows users to breach systems using spoof identity to disrupt data, make changes to it, erase a database or completely expose confidential information. 

7. Ransomware

Ransomware is malware and cyber-attack that restricts data through encryption and seeks Ransome to disable the encryption. Ransomware disables people to use accounts, make changes and other crucial data. 

Preventing Cyber Attacks

Fortunately, cyber-attacks are preventable following improving cyber security measures created to provide better defence against all cyber-attacks. The practice of cyber security is entirely dedicated to warding off cyber attacks through removing system vulnerabilities and deploying firewalls. Here are some preventive measures for protection against cyber security threats

  • Frequently vulnerability assessments in systems and servers to identify and resolve faults. 
  • Routinely conduct penetration tests to find any possible discrepancies.
  • Deploying robust antivirus software along with endpoint protection software to consider overall protection.
  • Consider secure storage services to protect personal information.
  • Strengthen credentials with strong usernames and passwords. Do not share them with everybody.
  • Scan software and networks before installing or updating them. 

Professional Certification for a Cyber Security Career

The thriving cyber security market requires eligible candidates to keep up with the digitisation and its added cons. If you are looking to make a career in cyber security, then upGrad’s Executive PG Programme in Cyber Security can be an excellent choice for your career! The program is created under the guidance of industry experts, curating a curriculum based on in-demand courses. 

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Cyber security, being one of the most sought after fields today, is growing and demands many more skilled candidates, which are just a certification away! 

upGrad extends various other benefits to provide an overall enlightening experience for learners from all over the world. From subject-based assistance to career guidance, the platform puts great emphasis on delivering high-quality education. 

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Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated with time, making unauthorised access easier for malicious entities. To take the best security measures for your devices, it’s best to learn about cyber attacks and cybersecurity. Awareness will allow organisations to improve prevention methods instead of dealing with repercussions, further enabling them to manage growing business demands and risks without issues.


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Q1: What is the most common type of network attack?

Answer: DDOS of Distributed Denial of Service is the most common network attack many organisations face. The attack refers to malicious entities sending countless requests on the host’s web resources and crowding it, making it difficult for the public to access while preventing the website from performing correctly. E-commerce sites are often under this attack.

2Q2: What are active and passive cyber attacks?

Answer: In an active cyber-attack, a hacker accesses the host system and modifies the containing files and databases. On the other hand, passive cyber attacks steal the containing files to make changes or disrupt them directly. While active attacks can be identified with alterations made by hackers, passive attacks are far more complicated to analyse.

3Q3: What is Cyber Security?

Answer: Cyber security is the technology section that deals with the prevention, restoration or identification of the perpetrator following a cyber attack. The technology is growing as the tech advancements and the rise in digital tools are also fueling new cyber attack techniques. Hence, cyber security is critical to improve and work along to create a safer web environment.

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