Network attacks are unauthorized actions against private, corporate or governmental IT assets in order to destroy them, modify them or steal sensitive data.
Passive: Attackers gain access to a network and can monitor or steal sensitive information, but without making any change to the data, leaving it intact.
Common Types of Network Attacks
This type of attack has the ability to scan, read, catch any changes in the network and read network packets. A sniffer gets a complete view of the data inside the packets if the packets are non- encrypted.
Denial of Service Attacks(DoS Attacks)
A Denial of Service Attack disrupts normal traffic of the targeted server by flooding the complete server or a computer till the time the complete network shuts down. The attacker can even jam genuine traffic within the network to stop authorized users from accessing the network resources.
DoS attacks the network with the help of common Internet protocols like TCP and ICMP.
Man in the Middle Attack
This attack as the name says, happens when an attacker actively monitors, captures and controls the communication between you and person with whom you are communicating.
Once the attacker gains access to your data, the next action it performs is to modify the data. Without being noticed by the sender or receiver, an attacker can alter the data in the packets. Although if your data may not be very confidential you wouldn’t want any of your data to be changed during the transmission.
For example, if you are sharing a worksheet with your employees that has names and tasks defined that you do not want the tasks to be modified.
Password-based access control is typically set for mostly all of the machines in the network. Your access rights define who you are that means your username and password.
The moment an attacker discovers a valid user account, he gets the same access rights as the actual user. For example, if the user has admin-level rights, the attacker also has access to all the controls that an admin has, like creating or deleting accounts or modifying rights, etc.
Once the attacker gains access to your network, he can do any of the following:
- Modify, change routes, or delete your data.
- Acquire a list of all the users and computer names and network information.
- Alter network and server configurations, including access controls and routing tables.
To get access to confidential information a secret code i.e. key is required. Even though for an attacker getting a key is quite tough but it is not impossible. Once the key is obtained by the attacker, it is known as a compromised key.
Without the sender or receiver’s information, an attacker uses this compromised key to acquire access to a secured communication. The attacker can even decrypt or alter data using this compromised key. To get further access to other secured communications, they try to use the compromised keys with additional keys.
This type of attack targets application servers by intentionally forcing the server’s operating system or application to fail. This makes it easy for an attacker to bypass normal access controls. Once the attacker gains control of the operating system or application or network, he can do any of the following:
- Unusually close your data applications or operating systems.
- Add, remove, scan or alter your data or operating system.
- Inject a virus in the network.
- Shut down other security controls to enable future attacks.
To stay safe from such attacks a computer or a network should make use of a firewall within the company so that it safeguards the network and keeps the hackers away.