Cybercrime / malware / ransomware / hacking

Top 10 most common types of cyber-attacks and how to prevent them

The number of cyber-attacks keeps increasing, putting our privacy and security at risk. Although not all cyber threats are equally dangerous, each of them can somehow affect our safety, whether it’s about personal or professional life.

A hacker can execute a malicious code via various methods, but these types of threats are commonly spread online by clicking a sketchy link, downloading an infected file, or opening email attachments from suspicious senders.

There are various techniques you can use to safeguard your system or network from cyber threats, but the best way to protect yourself from the nastiest scams lies in prevention. Once you’re aware of the peril brought by the digital environment, you’ll be more ready to combat it and protect your essential data efficiently.

In this article, we’ll reveal the 10 most common types of cyber-attacks and provide efficient solutions to prevent further inconveniences and establish viable protection from all kinds of threats present out there.

1. Password attack

Passwords are often the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain. And since most users still set weak and obvious passwords (123456, admin, password, etc.), hackers can easily crack them and gain access to even the most sensitive accounts.

Hackers use different methods to identify passwords, including a so-called “brute-force attack,” which employs programs to identify all the possible combinations to reveal unencrypted passwords. One of the best ways to generate a strong and impossible-to-crack password is to use a password manager. This tool allows you to create an almost unbreakable password composed of a random series of numbers and letters no one can guess, preventing any attempt of password attack execution.

2. Malware

Malware is the most known type of cyber-attack that encompasses various forms of malicious activities – ransomware, spyware, virus, worms, trojans, etc. Malware is commonly injected through a vulnerability in the system, and users can download it through suspicious email attachments, files they got online, or through infected USB flash drives.

There are various types of malware that can be easily spread through the entire network, and the best way to protect from them is by installing efficient antivirus software, which detects and prevents any suspicious activity occurring inside the system.

3. Phishing

Phishing is frequently spread via emails, which look quite legitimate at first glance. Hackers use emails to share shady links or infected attachments, using the name and the logo of a reputable company. In most cases, users fall for it and end up deceived and broke – yes, phishing aims to steal your financial information, login credentials, or even identity.

There are the three most common types of phishing – spear phishing, whaling, and pharming, and advanced email filtering solutions can help prevent them by removing any message coming from an unreliable source.

4. Man-in-the-middle

As its name suggests, man-in-the-middle involves a third party who intercepts the communication between two users, trying to steal or manipulate a person’s sensitive information. This attack is commonly spread through a vulnerability in the network, especially unprotected public Wi-Fi connections.

Cyber-attacks like man-in-the-middle aren’t easy to detect because, in most cases, the user isn’t aware that their data has gone to an illegitimate source. The best way to prevent such scams is to avoid open Wi-Fi networks in cafes or restaurants, especially if you’re making transactions or logging in to confidential accounts.

5. SQL injections

The SQL injections occur when a hacker inserts a malicious code into a server through server query language (SQL). That way, it tricks the server into delivering protected information to an untrusted source.

SQL attacks are frequently exploited on unprotected websites or search boxes. While it may be challenging to stop them, employing parameterized queries has been recognized as one of the best prevention practices.

6. Denial-of-service attacks (DoS)

Denial-of-service, also known as DoS attacks, work by flooding the server, the system, or the network with substantial amounts of traffic and bandwidth. As a result, the systems become unresponsive and unable to process any requests sent by legitimate users.

In addition to DOS attacks, there are DDoS attacks (distributed denial-of-service), which are distributed from several infected systems. Their goal is to take the server down and open the door to other cyber threats. Botnets, smurf attacks, and ping-of-death are the most popular types of DOS and DDoS cyber scams.

7. Zero-day attacks (0day)

A zero-day attack or zero-day exploit aims at recently discovered vulnerabilities in systems, for which developers haven’t found and implemented a patch yet. Hackers exploiting zero-day attacks focus on applications and programs with unresolved vulnerabilities, and the consequences can be pretty serious.

Preventing zero-day attacks entails proactive monitoring, on-time detection, and viable threat management practices.

8. Cross-site scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting occurs when attackers send malicious JavaScript codes to legitimate websites. The code later joins the content sent to the user’s browser, stealing cookies or even exploiting other vulnerabilities. The latter incident allows the hacker to steal log keystrokes, create print screens, collect network information, and access and control the victim’s device remotely. Developers can prevent XSS by sanitizing data input by users in an HTML request.

9. Eavesdropping attack

An eavesdropping attack happens when the network traffic has been intercepted by a third party. This allows the hacker to obtain all the data they want, including passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, login credentials, and other valuable data that allow them to manipulate the user’s behaviour.

Two types of eavesdropping attacks may affect your network protection – active and passive eavesdropping. Both are difficult to detect, and encrypting your data can successfully prevent their occurrence.

10. Rootkits

A rootkit is a piece of malicious software installed in legitimate applications. That way, it can remotely control the user’s behaviour and steal passwords, keys, and valuable credentials.

Most users aren’t aware of rootkits once they allow the app to make changes in their OS. Once it has all the necessary permissions, the application installs together with the rootkit, which automatically becomes active and starts completing its mission. To prevent rootkits, it’s highly recommended to avoid unprotected websites and download suspicious files.


Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and more severe. So, keeping pace with the latest cybersecurity trends is extremely important to prevent these scams from stealing your sensitive information and putting your privacy at risk. Install antivirus, use password managers, and don’t take cybersecurity for granted – remember these three takeaways next time you use your device to access sensitive accounts!

Share This