There are many types of cyberattacks from different magnitudes and objectives, including some that left a significant mark on cybersecurity history. It’s important that we learn at least the top 5 cyberattacks and how to protect ourselves from them because that way, you’ll have good cyber health, preventing as many risks as possible.
Hacking has been controversial since the technological era started, especially during the quarantine, when everyone had to work from home. Hackers have been evolving their ways of accessing people’s data to harm them in many ways. We must evolve as well to prevent any cyber risks.
What are cyberattacks?
Cyberattacks are the technological crime aspect since they harm others and attack for different motives, such as money, data theft, or even business disruption. Everyone could be a victim of cyberattacks. According to PIA’s guide, most of these attacks use dictionary scripts and brute force to gain access to a PC. Both methods rely on guessing password and username combinations.
They are classified into two areas: outsider threats and insider threats. The outsider ones are criminal hacker groups that can be either professionals or amateurs seeking attention and retribution, also known as hacktivists. On the other hand, the insiders seek unauthorized access to portals like bank accounts or business systems, trying not to be noticed. Here are the usual targets from these attacks:
- Financial data
- Clients’ sensitive information
- Login credentials
- Government departments and agencies
- Sensitive credentials or data
Knowing this, we can understand what we need to protect ourselves or our companies from to avoid these threads.
How can we protect ourselves from cyberattacks?
According to the PIA’s suggestion, there are several practices that we must do that will help us maintain good cyber health, preventing us from these risks. Some of those practices are:
- Use strong passwords and change them every four months.
- Use VPNs and Password Managers.
- Don’t share passwords between accounts or with others.
- Use spam filters and block spam emails or messages.
- Learn to identify phishing ads, buttons, emails, and messages.
- Activate multi-factor authenticators on all platforms and accounts.
- Learn how to identify malware.
These seven steps will allow you to have good cyber health, but we must be consistent and evolve our practices as cyberattacks do with technology. Other things you can do to be protected as much as possible is avoiding public wi-fi and unsecured websites.
5 types of cyberattacks.
- Malicious code
- Malware and viruses
- Password Reset
Top 5 cyberattacks.
1. WannaCry Ransomware (2017)
It targeted businesses and organizations. They encrypted data from computers, creating a payment demand that would decrypt that computer when it was processed correctly. It affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 different countries.
2. NotPetya Virus (2017)
It created billions of dollars in damage, and what this virus did was encrypt people’s hard drives on computers, making them not being able to access their files. This caused many businesses to shut down. Unfortunately, this virus didn’t allow people to get their hard drives back. Due to this particularity, there’s no known reason why this virus was created since it didn’t ask for payment and didn’t access data or bank accounts.
3. Equifax Data Breach (2017)
The Equifax cyberattack was a data breach that targeted Americans, British, and Canadian citizens. Hackers looked for access to sensitive information, creating identity theft of more than 250 million people. That happened due to a vulnerability in Equifax’s systems. This attack showed the importance of aspects such as strong passwords, antiviruses, VPNs, and other tools.
4. Mirai Botnet Attack (2016)
It targeted internet-connected devices such as routers and cameras. The way of working was denying people access to websites and businesses, creating billions of dollars in damage. This attack made a difference in people’s feelings related to internet security, being one of the reasons for the great importance of cybersecurity.
5. Yahoo Data Breach (2014)
The Yahoo data breach affected 3 billion users by gaining access to sensitive information. This information was used for identity theft and bank account access. This breach spread due to a phishing email, making it a big issue up until now. That helped us understand why we must be careful with phishing messages and emails and the security of our devices.
Protection against cyberattacks depends entirely on your vigilance. Following the advice from this article will significantly increase your chances of not becoming a victim of cyber crimes.