There are hundreds of different hacks but not all of them are equally popular. There are a few everyone should know about and that’s what this article is all about. Here are 6 of the most common hacks:
1. DoS (and DDoS)
DoS stands for Denial of Service, which is a type of attack in which a bad actor shuts down a device or network in order to make it inaccessible by the user. This is done by flooding the network with unlimited requests, making it impossible for regular traffic to pass through.
DoS attacks come in two “flavors”:
- Buffer Overflow attacks – which specifically target hard disk space, CPU time, and memory. Upon consuming these parts of the device, the attack will then completely crash the system.
- Flood attacks – in which the attacker targets servers by flooding them with data packets. As a result of this kind of attack, the server capacity is overpowered – making the service inaccessible to the users.
A special kind of DoS attack, called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), involves multiple computers flooding the network with traffic to shut it down.
2. Social engineering
Rather than relying on high-tech tools, social engineering relies on using persuasive tactics to build trust with a victim until they divulge valuable information. For instance, a hacker may send a social engineering email posing as the victim’s gym or a bank. Because this is a business or an organization the victim already knows, they’re more likely to click on a link that would most likely be present in a social engineering email, text or instant message, or a phone call. That’s what phishing and its variants such as spear phishing and vishing are all about.
As a result of a successful hack, the hacker can gain access to the victim’s device, passwords, financial details (including credit card information), identifying data, and more.
Read more: Here’s How to Avoid Phishing Scams
3. IoT attack
Hackers are no longer going only for our computers. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), they also want access to other connected devices, the number of which is growing with the day.
These days, IoT devices encompass everything from refrigerators, thermostats, cars, baby monitors, smart cameras, and much more. And while these devices make life more convenient, they also serve as a portal for hackers to enter our homes. After all, these devices have their own operating system and, as such, are prone to hacking and malware infections.
One example that caught headlines in recent years was a hack of baby monitors, enabling hackers to speak to babies through the built-in speaker. That was a terrifying experience no parent would want to happen with his/her baby.
4. Bait and switch
This type of attack uses ads to appeal to victims, thus the name “bait.” Once the victim clicks on the link on a landing page or in an email, the hacker may be able to infect their device with malware or at least prompt them to install malware.
Once infected, the hacker can cause havoc and even steal personal data. In a way, bait and switch is a type of phishing attack.
Read more: How Online Bait and Switch Scams Work
5. Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack
The man-in-the-middle attack presumes a hacker hijacking a connection between two parties to allow him/her to spy on private communications and steal data. These kinds of attacks typically take place in open, public networks like those that are offered for free in bars, coffee shops, restaurants, airports and so on. MitM attacks are sneaky because they can be hard to detect — you would be browsing the Internet without realizing that something’s going on. And here is where a VPN could be of great assistance, as it will encrypt all traffic coming to and from your devices. So make sure to turn it on every time you’re connecting to unknown networks.
Read more: VPN at Café
6. Evil twin attack
An evil twin attack is similar to both a phishing scam and a “man in the middle” attack. It wants you to connect to a different (wrong) Wi-Fi from where the hacker would be able to access all the data you’re transferring on that network.
As a result of this access, the hacker may get ahold of your personal information — including the passwords you’re using to connect to different services on the Internet. What’s more, this could further lead to spoofing your friends and family.
In an evil twin attack, the attacker will set up a fake Wi-Fi network using a legitimate-sounding name. When you connect to this network thinking it’s legit, the hacker will be able to gain access to your login credentials and other sensitive data.
Read more: Evil Twin Attack 101
Always use a VPN
A good VPN will protect you from all kinds of attacks, including those that are listed here if you set it up correctly. For example, to protect yourself against IoT attacks – you will have to connect your entire home network to a VPN-enabled router. For everything else, a VPN running your computer, phone and tablet will get the job done.
But that’s just one piece of the puzzle as a VPN has more to offer. It will let you access parts of the Internet that could otherwise be outside of your reach, such as geo-restricted websites and services. This means you would be able to access sites that are forbidden for access from your workplace or from your school.
Furthermore, a VPN will help you protect your privacy, making it at least a little harder for the likes of Google, Facebook, various government agencies and other parties to keep up with every step you make online. This, of course, presumes you go easy with sharing what you do on social media.
To sum it up, we all need a VPN these days and we need the best one the money could buy. Luckily, even those that we consider being the best are not expensive services so there is no good reason not to get one for yourself. To get started, visit our page with Best of the Best VPNs and take it from there. Before you know it, you will regain your privacy while also getting an additional layer of protection. So… what are you waiting for?