Malicious Code Cyber Attacks

The use of internet and networks have various advantages where companies can increase cost efficiency by sharing resources and crucial data can be shared and backed up on various locations. The network of a company though quite important in modern times is prone to various cyber attacks which target the financial and sensitive sectors of a company. A potential hacker could target the network of a company in various ways if there is a security loophole in the company network. The various cyber attack threats a company faces include cracking, malicious code, back door, sniffer, TCP hijacking, mail bombs and other threats.

The nature of such a threat, its effect on the network, problems caused by the attack and the countermeasures available to the company is explained. Cyber Attacks Using Malicious Code The most common type of cyber attacks involves malicious code. A hacker encodes a piece of code using some programming language and attaches an executable file to an email or sends this file to potential targets using an internet messenger service. The code usually creates a loophole in the network infrastructure of the company and the hacker can easily access any data or files available on the intranet of the company that is not shared with the general public.

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The hacker can easily access financial, personal and other sensitive information from the network of the company and misuse it in various ways. The sensitive data may include the industrial secrets of the company, the personal files of employees, financial information regarding the company and marketing policies and plans. When a company is attacked through malicious code, a person would receive an email or instant message requiring the person to open a file which would be executed and embedded in the network infrastructure and the company would face various problems (T.
, Sachs, Devost, Shaw, & Stroz, 2004). The level of severity of these problems may be minimum or maximum. The hacker would have access to the marketing and financial procedures of the company and could black-mail the company or provide this data to the competitors of the company. Another major problem caused by this attack would be the malfunctioning or stoppage of any crucial software which is necessary for running business operations. Personal information of the employees including names, telephone numbers and addresses would be compromised and would create a personal threat to them as well.
The cyber attack could launch a companywide malfunction of hardware and software limiting the operations of the company, as today almost all operations are dependent on computers. The code could change critical information relating to business operations such as input data for various operating processes. The company can stop and prevent these cyber attacks in various ways. The malicious code technique of attack usually involves a file which is transferred through emails, instant messengers, loopholes in the firewall framework and data transfers from insecure websites and sources.
The attacks can be prevented by filtering content received over the internet through emails and instant messengers. Antivirus, intrusion detection and content filtering programs can be implemented to limit transfer of malicious software or code. The employees of the company should be trained in this regard and should be made aware of the potential dangers of malicious code and the sources it can come from. The firewalls implemented in the company should be tested and audited with test scenarios to guarantee the safety of these firewalls.
All backup of data should be kept in safe and secure locations which is not available on the network of the company. When the attack does occur there should be contingency plans available to cope with the effects of this attack and operating procedures should be defined well ahead of time to deal with such threats. Intrusion detection and prevention systems should be implemented at all levels of the network to increase the safety and security of the network (GFI, 2009). Conclusion Cyber attacks are very common in modern times and there are various types of threats and these methods and types changing with the pace of time.
Individuals and companies also need to be updated on the various new methods, techniques and prevention for such attacks. If there is a cyber attack on an individual or a company, it could result in adverse consequences including loss of crucial data and loss of financial resources. To prevent and limit the frequency and probability of these attacks various protection and safeguard tools such as antivirus and intrusion detection should be implemented. References GFI. (2009). Targeted Cyber Attacks. Cary: GFI. T. , P. , Sachs, M. , Devost, M. G. , Shaw, E. , & Stroz, E. (2004). Cyber Adversary Characterization. Burlington: Syngress.


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