Cyber attacks can occur in many different ways. From compromising personal information and data to taking control of a computer by demanding a ransom (which usually has to be paid in the form of cryptocurrency after which the illegal form of control over someone else’s computer will stop) are just some of the ways cyber attacks can be expressed and carried out . One of the reasons this type of attack spreads so quickly is that they are very often difficult to spot until it is too late.
How do “cyber” attacks and hack happen?
Understanding “cyber” threats and how “cyber” attacks take place is just one piece of information you will need if you want to protect yourself. But in addition, it would be good to understand how the “cyber” attacks themselves occur. Most attacks are actually a combination of semantic tactics that are used and applied in a syntactic way. Simply put, it is an attempt to change the properties of the computer or how the computer will behave through some of the illicit actions that take place over the Internet, that is, as long as the user is connected to the Internet.
For example, one such example of an attack is so-called “phishing” e-mails. A method of communication (such as e-mail) is also used here in combination with a certain type of software which is then used for a “cyber” attack (such as a virus, worm or something else). The attack itself takes place in a way that deceives the user. The user thinks that he is storing or downloading certain types of information on his computer, when in fact it happens that various bad guys are abusing the user’s information and extracting it from the computer. Any such or similar action that has as its main goal the extraction of user information and its misuse is called a “cyber” attack.
What does a normal “cyber” attack look like?
What does a simple “cyber” attack actually look like? It can start with a message that looks like you received it from your bank or the company that issued your credit card. This message looks like it is urgent and you need to reply to it as soon as possible. Furthermore, this message may contain certain links or links to other websites. But if we take a closer look at such e-mails, we can easily see that they are not “real”, that is, that it is a simple attempt to “cyber” attack the user.
WHAT IS PHISHING
This can be checked this way. Bring your mouse pointer over the link you suspect is fraudulent (but don’t click on it). Then look at the address of the website that will be displayed. It will need to be shown either above the link or somewhere in the lower, left corner of the screen. If the link works “right”, ie authentic, then it is most likely not a “cyber” attack (which is a rarity).
What is much more common is that the address of that internet connection certainly just doesn’t look like a normal internet connection (it contains unrelated things or names that have nothing to do with, say, the user’s bank). In addition, these emails will contain various typos and will look as if they were written by someone who either doesn’t know English at all or as if they have just started learning it in elementary school.
Another way in which “cyber” attacks can occur is at the moment when the user downloads one of the files from the Internet. This file may contain a specific malicious code (or part of the code) that may be a worm or a Trojan horse. This can most often happen if a user chooses to download applications, music files, video clips, and similar file types from the Internet.
A large number of services or service providers from where users can download files for free, such as movies or music are most targeted by criminals. They will upload a lot of different harmful things to those pages. At first, everything looks fine. But after you download the file and after the user unpacks it on their computer, the damage becomes obvious (because after unpacking, the harmful files start spreading on the computer).
The third way a user can suffer a cyber attack is by visiting a website that is infected with a malicious program. The problem with infected pages is that they look normal like those pages that are not infected, which makes things even more complicated, because the user does not suspect anything but starts browsing the contents of that “page” until it is too late.
Understanding “cyber” threats
What enables cyber attacks the most is human behavior. Regardless of the level of protection, if the user does not pay attention to the “cyber” attack, it can still happen and can affect his computer.
What are the types of “cyber” attacks? They can be divided into two large groups: syntactic and semantic “cyber” attacks.
The most common types of syntactic “cyber” attacks are attacks via viruses, Trojan horses or worms. Furthermore, this type of attack takes place through various malicious programs that attack computers through different channels. Viruses, for example, can most often be found in email inboxes or in files. Worms are more sophisticated than viruses in that worms, unlike viruses, do not need other files or programs to replicate and spread further. These small parts of the program can send data to a specific location using the network information to which the computer is connected. The worm spreads over the network.
At first glance, a Trojan horse looks like an ordinary, normal and “healthy” program, file or e-mail, while at second glance it can be seen that it is actually a malicious program that just “pretends” something that is not.
Semantic “cyber” attacks are more based on changing the perception or behavior of the user or organization being attacked. Some of the types of semantic “cyber” attacks are, for example, “phishing” attacks that take place via e-mail, where someone tries to find out information about users or organizations to which these messages are sent. The same applies to “ransomware”, ie “cyber” attacks within which the user is required to pay a ransom after which the unauthorized control over the software will cease.
How to protect yourself from “cyber” attacks?
What can each of us do to maximize our level of protection against cyber attacks? There are several things. The first is the simplest, and is reflected in the fact that the user pays attention to what he clicks and what he opens. Before a website is opened (or a file is unpacked) it should be thoroughly checked for the authenticity of the content from those sites.
Another way is to use adequate network forms of protection such as antivirus programs with the capabilities of anti-cyber forms of additional protection, on how to protect professionally read here.
The third form of how each user can protect themselves is to keep their data as secret as possible.
Personal data is very sensitive and as such should be kept as secret as possible. Using a data backup (just in case) and keeping the protection system always up-to-date are two additional forms of protection that no user should ignore or take lightly.