With the internet technologies advancing at a rapid rate, a variety of different hackers are taking advantage of new developments by converting them into solid hacking techniques for carrying out cyberattacks. An even bigger concern is the fact that, even with all the technology available today, they don’t need any super-advanced equipment to take a peek at your personal information and steal data such as usernames, passwords or even credit card info.
In order to prevent your personal information from getting into the wrong hands, you need to take adequate defense measures, as well as stay aware of the most common hacking methods used for these malicious purposes. Here are the top five most common hacking techniques that can turn you into a victim of a cybercriminal. Keep in mind that desktop computers and mobile devices are equally at risk of being hacked by cybercriminals using the methods mentioned below.
1. Denial OF Service
Denial of Service, also known as DoS or DDos, is a very popular hacking technique used for taking down sites or even whole servers. This method consists of flooding the targeted site or server with an amount of traffic it cannot support. The target gets flooded to the point where the server can no longer respond to all requests and it eventually crashes under pressure.
With DoS hacking methods getting more advanced, these attacks are becoming more frequent and more difficult to stop. In order to generate a lot of traffic at the same time, hackers use botnets, that is, networks of hacked computers used without the owner’s knowledge. If your computer gets infected with malicious software, chances are it will be used as an asset to assist these
2. Fake WAPs
Fake WAPs are one of the easiest methods hackers use to gain access to your personal data. They use simple software to create fake wireless access points and make them look legit. By giving these fake WAPs legit names such as “Target WiFi”, hackers trick people into connecting their devices. Once your device is connected to a fake WAP, they get access to the personal data on your phone or computer.
The danger here lies in the fact that you don’t have to be an experienced hacker to create fake WAPs. Anyone can execute this simple hack by using the right program, which makes it more difficult to stay protected against data theft, especially when connecting to public WiFi.
Phishing is a common hacking technique in which hackers disguise themselves by replicating trustworthy sites. They target popular and often visited sites and mimic them by sending people fake links, most commonly through emails. Once you enter your data to log into the site, hackers behind it receive your private information and further use it for malicious purposes.
This hacking method is most commonly used for obtaining usernames, passwords and credit card information. As it is stated in the PhishMe’s Enterprise Phishing Resiliency and Defense Report, the number of cyberattacks using the method of phishing has grown for 65% in the previous year only. Experts state that we can expect even further growth of the number of phishing attacks in the future.
4. Viruses and Trojans
Another common way for hackers to get their hands on your personal information is by planting viruses into programs that you are most likely to download. Once you download a malicious software to your system, the program will work in the background and mine for personal data to forward it to the hacker. If your system doesn’t have an antivirus program running, it will be difficult and even nearly impossible to detect an infected software.
Besides stealing your personal data, hackers can use virus-infected programs to add your device to their collection of botnets, which they can later use for more serious cyberattacks. According to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin, Russia is the top-ranked country when it comes to the number of virus threats per year, while the US is ranked number three, right after Oman.
5. Cookie Theft
Cookies are responsible for holding out personal data online, including everything from our browser history to passwords, emails and usernames. The way hackers gain access to cookies is by redirecting the user’s IP packets to pass through their machine in a process commonly known as SideJacking or Session Hijacking.
Once they gain access to the information held in the cookies, hackers can even authenticate themselves as another person online, causing many headaches for the user. Cookie thefts often occur if you access sites through public, unprotected networks, which causes the data in the cookies to remain unencrypted.
Being aware of the common hacking methods used to steal information, alter systems or implement unauthorized activities will help you stay protected along the way.
We recommend using a VPN when accessing public networks to ensure privacy and security, as well as activating antivirus programs on each of your devices.
In order to ensure cookie security, always make sure the connections on sites through which you enter personal information are encrypted.
Avoid logging into websites while on public networks, especially the ones that require any type of credit card information. Lastly, we strongly advise against downloading programs from unauthorized sources, as they might contain some type of malicious viruses.
Feel free to leave a comment below and tell us if you had any past experiences with cyberattacks!