A network attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s/company,s network, with the objective of stealing data or performing other malicious activity. Network attacks are either Passive or Active
- Passive Attackers gain access to a network and can monitor or steal sensitive information, but without making any change to the data, leaving it intact.
- Active Attackers not only gain unauthorized access but also modify data, either deleting, encrypting, or otherwise harming it.
Several ways of attacking the Network:
- Endpoint attacks: Gain unauthorized access to user devices, servers or other endpoints, typically compromising them by infecting them with malware.
- Malware attacks: Infecting IT resources with malware, allowing attackers to compromise systems, steal data, and do damage.
- Vulnerabilities, exploits, and attacks: Exploiting vulnerabilities in software used in the organization, to gain unauthorized access, compromise, or sabotage systems.
- Advanced persistent threats: These are complex multilayered threats, which include network attacks but also other attack types.
Among the Common Network Attacks and ways of reducing are mentioned below:
Brute force and Dictionary attacks
Brute-force- An attack in which cybercriminals utilize trial-and-error tactics to decode Personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, and other forms of logins data by leveraging automated software to test large quantities of possible combinations.
A type of brute force attack where an intruder attempts to crack a password-protected security system with a dictionary list of common words and phrases used by businesses and individuals.
Best practices to defend against dictionary and Brute-Force Attacks
- Use Strong Password
- Slow down repeated logins
- Force captchas after multiple failed logins
- Lock Accounts
- Refresh Passwords
- Monitor for anomalies
This is the type of attack, where attackers interrupt an existing conversation or data transfer. After inserting themselves in the “middle” of the transfer, the attackers pretend to be both legitimate participants.
Best Practices to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks
- Strong router login Credentials
- Strong WEP/WAP encryption on access points devices
- Virtual Private Network
- Public Key Pair Based Authentication
- Force HTTPS
DENIAL-of-SERVICE (DoS) attacks
It is an attack targeting the availability of web applications, slow and takes down a website. DoS attacks aim to obstruct a network or resources by flooding a target with artificial traffic which restricts users’ access to the respective service being attacked.
How to overcome DoS attacks
- Monitor and alert on network traffic, System healthy and responsiveness, application health, and responsiveness.
- Review applications architecture and implementation
- Have a mitigation plan in place
Spoofing means the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known, trusted source. Spoofing is often the way a bad actor gains access in order to execute a larger cyber-attack such as an advanced persistent threat or a man-in-the-middle attack.
Types of Spoofing
- IP address spoofing – Attacker sends packets over the network from a false IP address
- ARP spoofing – Attacker links their MAC address to an authorized IP address already on the network
- DNS spoofing – Attacker initiates a threat such as a cache poisoning to reroute traffic intended for a specific domain name traffic to a different IP address
Ways to prevent and mitigate Spoofing attacks
- Authenticate users and systems
- Use spoofing Detection Software
- Employ packet filtering with deep packet inspection
- Use Encrypted and Authentication protocols
Organizations/Companies need to ensure that they maintain the highest cybersecurity standards, network security policies, and staff training to safeguard their assets against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.