3 Types Of Threat Classifications For Cyber Security

3 Types Of Threat Classifications For Cyber Security



In my previous articles, I have talked about some of the network utilities that you can use for network security. In this article, I want to look at some of the major threat classifications that we can have in network security. Follow me as we are going to look at that in this article.


Your network certainly faces real security threats, and these threats can manifest themselves in a variety of forms. There are different ways one might choose to classify the various threats to your system. You could choose to classify them by the damage they caused, the level of skill required to execute the attack or the motivation behind the attack.

threat classifications

We can categorize attacks on networks into three. These are Intrusion, blocking and malware. 

Intrusion attacks are meant to breach security and gain unauthorised access to a system. This group of attacks include any attempts to gain unauthorised access to a system. This is generally what hackers do.


The second group of attacks, blocking, includes attacks designed to prevent legitimate access to a system. Blocking attacks are often called denial of service attacks. In these type of attacks, the purpose is not to actually get into the system but simply to block legitimate users from gaining access. 


The third category of threats is the installation of malware on a system. Malware is a generic term for software that has a malicious purpose. It includes virus attacks, Trojan horses and spyware. 


#1 Malware

Malware happens to be the most common threats to any security system, including home users. small networks, and large enterprise and wide area networks. 


One reason is that malware is designed to spread on its own, without the creator of the malware has to be directly involved. This makes malware attack to be much easier to spread across the internet.


The most common example of malware is the computer virus. You might have the idea of what a virus is. If you consult some literature, you will probably see the definition of a virus. 


It is a program that can infect other programs by modifying them to include a possibly evolved copy of itself. A computer virus is analogous to a biological virus in that both can replicate and spread. 


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The most common method of spreading a virus is by using the victim’s email account to spread the virus to everyone in his address book. Some viruses do not actually harm the system itself, but all of them cause network slowdowns or shutdowns due to heavy network traffic caused by virus replication. 


Another type of malware, often closely related to the virus, is the Trojan horse. The term is borrowed from an ancient tale. In this tale, the city of Troy was besieged for a long period of time, but the attackers could not gain entrance. They constructed a huge wooden horse and left it one night in front of the gate of Troy.


The next morning, the residents of the City saw it and assumed it was a gift. Unknown to them, several soldiers were hidden inside the horse. That evening the soldiers left the horse, opened the city gates, and let there fellow attackers into the city.


An electronic Trojan Horse works in the same manner, and appearing to be benign software but secretly downloading a virus or some other type of malware onto your computer. 


In short, you have an exciting gift that you install on your computer, and later find out that it has unleashed something quite different than what you expected. 


It is a fact that Trojan horses are more likely to be found in illegitimate software. There are many places on the internet where you can get pirated copies of commercial software. Such illegitimate software always contains Trojan horses. 


Trojan Horses and viruses are the most widely encountered form of malware. The third category of malware is Spyware, which is increasing in a dramatic phase. Spyware is a software that literarily spies the on what you do on your computer. This can be as simple as a cookie, a text file that your browser creates and store on your hard drive. 


Cookies are downloaded on your computer from the websites you visit. This text file is used to recognise you when you return next time. That file can enable you to access pages more quickly and save you from having to enter your information multiple times on the pages you visit frequently. 


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In order to do this effectively, that file must be read by the website; this means it can be read by other websites. Any file that the website saves can be read by other websites. Any data that the file saves can be retrieved by any website, so your entire internet browsing history can be tracked. 


Another form of spyware is called a Key logger. It records all your keystrokes. Some also take screenshots of your computer. Data is then either stored for retrieval later by the party who installed the keylogger or is sent immediately via email. 


#2 Intrusions

Intrusions are those attacks that are trying to intrude into the system. They are different from attacks that simply deny users access to there system, or attacked that are not focused on a particular target such as viruses and worms. 


Intrusion attacks are designed to gain access to a specific targeted system and are commonly referred to as hacking, although that is not the term hackers use. 


Hackers call the type of attack cracking, which means intruding into a system without permission, usually with malicious intent. 


Any attack designed to breach security, either via some operating system flaw or any other means can be classified as cracking. 


Using security flaws is not the only means of intruding a system, in fact, some methods can be technologically much easier to execute. For example, one completely not technologically based method for breaching a system’s security is called social engineering, which as the name implies, relies on human nature than technologies. 


This was the type of attack that the famous hacker Kelvin Mitnick most often used. Social engineering used techniques to get users to offer up the information needed to gain access to a target system.


The perpetrator obtains preliminary information about a target organisation, such as the name of its system administrator and leverages it to gain additional information from the system’s users. For example, he might call someone’s in accounting and claim to be one of the company’s technical support personnel. 


Also, the intruder could use the system administrator’s name to validate the claim. he could then ask questions to learn additional details about the system’s specification. A well-informed intruder might even get a person to provide a username and a password. As you can see, this method is based on how well the intruder can manipulate people and has little to do with computer skills.  


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Social engineering and exploiting software flaws are not the only means of executing intrusion attacks. The growing popularity of wireless networks gives rise to new forms of attacks. The most dangerous of them is war diving.


War-diving is an offshoot or war-dialling, here a hacker set up a computer to call phones randomly until another computer answers and try to enter into that system again. War-diving can be used in locating wireless networks. Many people forget that their wireless network signal can extend as much as 100 feet.


#3 Denial Of Service

This is also known as blocking attacks. A very good example is the Denial of Service attacks. In this attack, the attacker does not actually access the system, but it blocks access to the system for legitimate users. 


A denial of service is characterised by an explicit attempt by attackers to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service. One of the most common methods used is flooding. Flooding happens when a system is targeted with so many false connections requests that it cannot respond to legitimate requests. 


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Adeniyi Salau

Adeniyi Salau Scrum Master Certified , CCNA R&S , BeingCert and Scrum Certified Digital Marketing Professional, CEP, MOS, MCP, CSCU (Project 2016), Microsoft Certified Security and Networking Associate is a Google and Beingcert Certified Digital Marketer, Project Manager and SEO Expert of repute with about a decade of Blogging and online marketing experience. He is always ready to share his experience with others.

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