Since the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, when the entire world went online, cybersecurity has been a top issue. Following a sharp increase, cybersecurity remains one of Malaysia’s top concerns.
Over the last few years, extraordinary events such as the COVID-19 epidemic, contested elections, and rising socio political upheaval have resulted in an explosion in the quantity and severity of cybercrimes. Security threats are projected to get more complex, and thus more expensive, over time: analysts estimate that worldwide cybercrime expenses will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, up 15% from $3 trillion in 2015. The number of cyberbullying, data breaches, fraud, infiltration, phishing, and email scam instances had nearly doubled.
Read more: Cyber Crime in Malaysia
Most Common Types of Cybersecurity Threats
With the introduction of network-based ransomware worms, attackers can now launch campaigns without the need for human participation.
When an individual or an organization purposefully and maliciously attempts to enter the information system of another individual or organization, this is referred to as a cyber attack. While most assaults have an economic goal, several recent operations have included data destruction as a goal.
Malicious actors frequently seek financial gain at ransom, although assaults can be carried out for a variety of reasons, including political action.
Malware refers to a wide range of threats, including spyware, viruses, and worms. When a user opens a “planted” harmful link or email attachment, which is used to install malicious software inside the system, malware exploits a vulnerability to breach a network.
Malware and malicious files on a computer can do the following:
- Deny access to the network’s most vital components.
- Data from the hard drive can be retrieved to obtain information.
- The system will be disrupted, if not rendered unworkable.
Malware is so ubiquitous that it has a wide range of methods of operation. The following are the most prevalent types:
Phishing attacks are very widespread, and they entail sending a large number of bogus emails to unwary users while posing as a trusted source. The fraudulent emails often appear to be legitimate, but they contain a link to a malicious file or script that allows attackers to gain access to your device in order to control it or gather information, install malicious scripts or files, or extract data such as user information, financial information, and more.
Phishing attacks can also be carried out through social media and other online forums, as well as through direct messages from other users with a hidden agenda. Phishers frequently use social engineering and other publicly available information to gather information about your job, hobbies, and activities, providing attackers an advantage in convincing you they’re not who they say they are.
There are several different types of phishing attacks, including:
- Spear Phishing
When an attacker intercepts a two-party transaction and inserts himself in the middle, this is known as a middleman attack. By disrupting traffic, cyber intruders can steal and change data from there.
This form of attack takes use of security flaws in a network, such as an open public WiFi hotspot, to get between a visitor’s device and the network. The difficulty with this type of attack is that it’s difficult to spot because the victim believes the data is being sent to a real location. MitM attacks are frequently carried out through phishing or malware attacks.
DoS attacks overload resources and bandwidth by flooding systems, servers, and/or networks with traffic. As a result, the target system is no longer able to process and fulfil legitimate requests. There are distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in addition to denial-of-service (DoS) assaults.
DoS attacks overwhelm a system’s resources in order to slow response time to service requests. A DDoS assault, on the other hand, is launched from a number of infected host machines with the purpose of accomplishing service denial and putting a system offline, allowing another attack to penetrate the network/environment.
TCP SYN flood attacks, teardrop attacks, smurf attacks, ping-of-death attacks, and botnets are the most prevalent types of DoS and DDoS attacks.
When an attacker uses server query language (SQL) to inject malicious code into a server, the server is forced to divulge protected information. This form of attack usually entails inserting malicious code into an open comment or search box on a website. SQL injections can be avoided by utilizing secure coding methods such as using prepared statements with parameterized queries.
When a SQL command uses a parameter rather than directly adding the values, the backend can conduct malicious queries. Furthermore, the SQL interpreter merely treats the parameter as data, rather than executing it as code.
Exploiting a network vulnerability when it is new and recently announced — before a patch is available and/or applied — is referred to as a Zero-day Exploit. Zero-day attackers take advantage of a newly discovered vulnerability within a brief window of opportunity when no solutions or preventative measures are available. As a result, combating zero-day threats necessitates continuous monitoring, proactive detection, and agile threat management techniques.
Passwords are the most common technique of gaining access to a secure information system, which makes them a tempting target for cyber criminals. An attacker can get access to confidential or vital data and systems, as well as influence and control them, by gaining access to a person’s password.
Social engineering, acquiring access to a password database, probing the network connection to obtain unencrypted passwords, or just guessing are all tactics used by password attackers to determine an individual password.
Sources of Cybersecurity Threats
Here are a few common sources of cyber-threats to businesses:
Enemies of Malaysia can execute cyber assaults against local businesses and organizations with the goal of disrupting communications, causing chaos, and causing harm.
Terrorists utilise cyber attacks to damage or exploit critical infrastructure, threaten national security, disrupt economies, and harm citizens.
Organized groups of hackers whose goal is to gain unauthorized access to computer systems for financial gain. For extortion, identity theft, and internet frauds, these groups use phishing, spam, spyware, and malware.
Individual hackers use a range of attack strategies to target companies. Personal gain, retribution, financial gain, or political engagement are the most common motivations. Hackers frequently create new risks in order to better their criminal abilities and personal reputation in the hacking community.
Employees who have legitimate access to corporate assets and utilize that access to steal sensitive data or destroy computing systems for personal or financial gain. Insiders might be target company workers, contractors, suppliers, or partners. They could also be outsiders who have gained access to a privileged account and are posing as the account’s owner.
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