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Computer network attack

Computer network attack

(also CNA)

Computer network attack definition

A computer network attack seeks to harm the normal functioning of a system. Culprits exploit weak spots in software or hardware to breach security. For instance, they can spread malware and initiate denial-of-service campaigns. Defending against such evil attempts requires vigorous protection strategies.

See also: computer network defense

Examples of computer network attack

  • Phishing attacks. Hackers send deceptive emails pretending to be from legitimate sources. Unfortunately, these messages often contain malicious links or attachments that aim to steal personal and financial data.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks. Culprits flood a network or website with excessive traffic, making it unavailable to users. Such an overload effectively shuts down services and disrupts operations.
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) assaults. Attackers secretly intercept and relay communication between two parties. They can eavesdrop or modify the communication, potentially stealing sensitive data.
  • Ransomware attacks. Malicious software is introduced to a user’s system, encrypting their files. Cybercriminals then demand a ransom from the victim to decrypt and release the captured data.
  • Drive-by downloads. Visiting a compromised website or clicking a shady link can download malware onto a user’s computer. This harmful software can then steal data, monitor user activity, and harness system resources.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security