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Rise in cyber-attacks taking billions from their victims: How can you stay safe?

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Cyber attacks are on the rise with nearly 850,000 reports of cyber crime in 2021- victims have lost $6.9 billion to scammers. But if you stay in the know, about the kinds of attacks out there, it can keep you protected from criminals who want to access your data or compromise your devices.

Most common cyber attacks:

Malware-based cyber attacks

Malware is short for “malicious software” and it is commonly used by hackers to steal your computer's data and personal information.

These cyber criminals have developed many methods of tricking unsuspecting individuals into installing malware on their devices. After they have succeeded in installing the malware, they will have access to your computer and can steal your private information to log into your various online accounts.

Malware-based attacks are the most commonly used type of cyber attack and there are many methods to be aware of:

Ransomware: This kind of malware locks your device so you cannot use it until you pay the hacker a ransom to unlock it for you. According to Fortune Magazine, governments worldwide saw a 1,885% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021.

Trojans: This kind of malware was named after the famous Trojan horse and is hidden inside a legitimate piece of software that an individual may download online.

Spyware: This type of malware attack sits silently as you go about your online activities and collects data on what you do. This kind of malware is after your account log in information - like your password to access your bank account.

Password-based cyber attacks

Social engineering: This kind of attack uses psychological tricks to get individuals to give up their passwords. This can be done, for example, by reaching out to you with a fake phishing email from your bank and asking for you to confirm your bank account details.

Password spraying: This method involves trying the same password over millions of accounts until getting some correct - this works well as, for example, over 3.5 million Americans use the password “123456”.

Brute force: This type of cyber attack is carried out using a software that can guess infinite combinations of usernames and passwords until it gets it correctly.

URL manipulation cyber attacks

This method of cyber attacks involves altering a URL to redirect you to a download malware or take you to a phishing site.

According to a Linkedin Learning article, “A URL manipulation attack is when someone edits the URL text in the browser's location bar in order to probe a website. URLs are easily changed, and often follow a pattern, which makes them inviting targets. Manipulation may be performed by innocent users who are just curious, or by hackers who are probing for vulnerabilities. Editing a URL can reveal private information or allow users to perform actions which should be restricted. Manipulating a URL may reveal a private webpage. A public website may not have a link to the page, or the page may be only accessible under certain conditions.”

Share this information with others to keep them protected from online attacks like these!

Genie Team


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