Combat Cyber Crime – Types of Threats

Malicious code

Malicious code is a broad category that encompasses a number of threats to cyber-security. In essence it is any “hardware, software, or firmware that is intentionally included or inserted in a system for a harmful purpose.” Commonly referred to as malware it includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, keyloggers, BOTs, Rootkits, and any software security exploits.   Malicious code also includes spyware, which are deceptive programs, installed without authorization, “that monitor a consumer’s activities without their consent.” Spyware can be used to send users unwanted popup ads, to usurp the control of a user’s Internet browser, or to monitor a user’s online habits. However, spyware is usually installed along with something that the user actually wishes to install. The user consents to the installation, but does not consent to the monitoring tactics of the spyware. The consent for spyware is normally found in the end-user license agreement. akua AB

Network attacks

A network attack is considered to be any action taken to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information residing on a computer and computer networks. An attack can take four forms: fabrication, interception, interruption, and modification. A fabrication is the “creation of some deception in order to deceive some unsuspecting user”; an interception is the “process of intruding into some transmission and redirecting it for some unauthorized use”; an interruption is the “break in a communication channel, which inhibits the transmission of data”; and a modification is “the alteration of the data contained in the transmissions.”

Attacks can be classified as either being active or passive. Active attacks involve modification of the transmission or attempts to gain unauthorized access to a system, while passive attacks involve monitoring transmissions. Either form can be used to obtain information about a user, which can later be used to steal that user’s identity. Common forms of network attacks include Denial of Service (Dos) and Distributed Denial of Service(DDoS), Man-in-the-middle attack, packet sniffing, TCP SYN Flood, ICMP Flood, IP spoofing, and even simple web defacement.

Network abuse

Network abuses are generally considered fraudulent activity that is committed with the aid of a computer. SPAM is one of the most common forms of network abuse, where an individual will email list of users usually with unsolicited advertisements or phishing attacks attempting to use social engineering to acquire sensitive information such any information useful in identity theft, usernames, passwords, and so on by posing as a trustworthy individual. Pharming is also another form of network abuse where a website’s traffic is redirected to a bogus website, usually by exploiting vulnerabilities in Domain Name System(DNS) servers.

Social engineering

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, rather than by breaking in or using technical cracking techniques. This method of deception is commonly used by individuals attempting to break into computer systems, by posing as an authoritative or trusted party and capturing access information from the naive target. Email Phishing is a common example of social engineering’s application, but it is not limited to this single type of attack.


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