5 Common Cyber Attack Vectors

July 27, 2020

With the rise and popularity of Cloud services, companies have been migrating to an environment that seems more controlled, efficient, and “secure.” But, Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated and found the way to adequate the attacks to this new context. Hiding behind a firewall and rely on antivirus is not long enough to protect a system.

Surfaces Attacks have increased tremendously due to third-party vendors and service providers, which open the door for potential exploitation of attack vectors.

What is an attack vector?

An attack vector is a method where an attacker can reach and gain authorize access and controls of a target network and system. Attack vectors exploit vulnerabilities in the system to install malware, lunch attacks, or keep it as a bot (zombie) for future DDOS attacks.

Different actors can commit a cyber attack and exploit vulnerabilities, such as former employees, hacktivists, business competitors, and cyber-criminal groups.

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Top 5 Attack Vectors

1. Compromised Credentials

Usernames and Passwords are of high demand and well paid on the dark web. Lost, stolen, or exposed, credentials give attackers unfettered access. Countermeasures to reduce the probability of compromise credentials are Password managers, two-factor authentication, and biometrics.

2. Weak credentials

Even in 2020, users still don’t realize the importance of choosing a strong password. A Google survey found that 59% of people are confident of having secure credentials, but 65% reuse passwords in multiple sites. Cybercriminals rely on this lax behavior, which opens a gateway for initial attacker access and propagation.

3. Missing or Poor Encryption

Encryption of sensitive data can significantly reduce the impact of a data breach. Even when a leak of credentials occurs, a good cipher will save the day. Choosing a cipher to work with should be a meticulous decision since it is the obscure technique that translates a plaintext into a cyphertext that can be revert only if the correct key is proved.

4. Phishing

It’s the most common social attack vector. Malicious actors impersonate trustworthy entities poisoning email, telephone, text message, or website to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details. Among the most famous phishing scams in history are 2009 - Phish Phry, 2013 -Target data breach, 2017 - Facebook & Google scam. This type of attack vector leverages user inexperience and lack of technical knowledge; thus, it’s essential for safety matters to train users periodically.

5. Trust Relationships

It refers to the user-server relationship. AS both rely on credentials stored in the cache, both can be subject to attack. Vulnerabilities such as XSS and CSRF can take advantage of the browser trust in a legit website to execute malicious code or Vice versa.

Attack vectors can be mitigated by implementing policies, procedures, and applying different detention and response capabilities methods. It would neutralize cyberattacks and provide detailed information for further analysis.

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Gabriela Granda

I'm a Software Developer passionate about security who is looking to utilize my skills and knowledge to provide sustainable software solutions, make a change in society, and give back to the community.