A Guide to the Different Types of Cyber Attacks

A Guide to the Different Types of Cyber Attacks


Cyber attacks are on the rise. The interconnectedness brought about by the advances in technology and communication is being exploited by hackers and cybercriminals. In fact, a report by the FBI’s IC3 notes that cyber attacks such as ransomware, phishing scams, and espionage attacks resulted in a loss of more than $4 billion in 2020.


This is incredibly alarming ⁠— especially in today’s world where smart cities are being established to usher in globalization. An article on smart cities by Verizon Connect highlights how they are key to a brighter society, because they leverage Big Data to manage increasing populations and growing congestion. In addition, smart cities also use data analytics tools and techniques to make smarter decisions that will benefit everyone. For this reason, all connected organizations should bolster their cybersecurity and be aware of the kind of threats that they may encounter.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the various types of cyber attacks that pose a threat to your organization.


Spread mostly through spam emails, Emotet is a highly-advanced banking Trojan that downloads and drops other banking Trojans in a host victim. This type of cyber threat may be attached to an email as a malicious link, macro-enabled document file, or malicious script. It also deceives users by using familiar branding and tempting language to look like a legitimate email. If you see an email with phrases such as “Payment Details,” “Your Order,” or “Your Invoice,” be sure to thoroughly check if it’s from a legitimate company first before downloading any files.

Phishing scams

Phishing scams and messages aim to fool the receiver by pretending to be from a legitimate business such as an internet service provider, telephone company, or bank. They will then ask the user to provide and confirm their personal details. For example, a scammer may tell you that your account has been compromised and that you need to give your personal details to them so that they can carry out an investigation. Or, they may ask you to fill out a survey and will reward you for participating. Through these kinds of social engineering tactics, phishing scammers can get you to provide highly sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card details, or PINs.


Malware is the umbrella term that encompasses viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware. Essentially, these kinds of cyberattacks are activated once a user clicks on a malicious link or attachment. Malware can cause significant damage to the user’s device, as it can install additional harmful software, attack individual parts of your system or network, secretly collect and transmit data from your hard drive, and restrict your access to crucial network components.

SQL injection

A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is a common cyber attack that makes use of malicious code to access hidden information from a server. Cyber attacks like this often target businesses and can harvest sensitive information such as customer details, credit card information, and company data. DZone notes that SQL injections often happen because of companies that leverage untrusted data such as web form fields. If the web page is unable to clean the cache before requesting an SQL query, it might execute an SQL injection that an attacker has inserted into the server.

Knowing and understanding how cyber attacks work can help you formulate a robust cybersecurity strategy for your organization. If you want to identify potential cybersecurity risks that jeopardize your company, be sure to read our list of ‘5 Essential Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Tools’.


content intended only for the use of ettebiz.com by Jenny Bests




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