15 Most Dangerous Cyber Attacks to Look Out For in 2020

cyber attacks, hacking, cybersecurity

Cyber attacks can as well be called Computer Network Attack (CNA). A cyber attack is a deliberate exploitation from one or more computers against another computer, multiple computers, networks, and enterprises dependent on technology. These attacks utilize pernicious code to alter computer code, data, or logic, thereby leading to dangerous results that can compromise your company’s data and promulgate cybercrimes, like, theft of information and identity.

15 Most Dangerous Cyber Attacks


Spear Phishing Attacks

Spear phishing attacks are done by sending an email focused on a specific individual or organization, wanting access that hasn’t been authorized to vital information. These hacks are performed by people looking for trade secrets, monetary profit, or even military intelligence.

Spear phishing emails seem to start from a person inside the recipient’s own organization or someone that personally knows the target. Normally, these activities are carried out by government-supported hacktivists and hackers. Cybercriminals usually perform these attacks by exchanging classified information to privately owned businesses and governments for money as their aim.

hack credit card details
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Whale Phishing Attack

Whale phishing attacks focus on employees with high positions in a company like the CFO or CEO. Whale phishing attackers aim at stealing information using these high-profile employees because they have boundless, or unlimited access to the company’s sensitive information. In whale phishing, the attacker would manipulate the victim into allowing high-worth wire transfers to be made into his account.

Phishing website's personal data
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This cyber threat involves the attacker locking or encrypting the files of his victim’s computer system and then demanding a ransom to decrypt or unlock the files. Even after making the ransom payment, you won’t be assured that you will regain access to your data. Ransomware is done by the means of a Trojan conveying a payload masked as a genuine (or legitimate) document.

ransomware attack
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Drive-by Attack

All the cyber attacker has to do is to search for a website that is not secure, then plant malicious content into PHP or HTTP in one of the pages of the website. The content planted by the attacker is capable of introducing malware into any computer that visits that particular website or becomes an IFRAME that diverts the browser of the victim into a website under the control of the attacker. These scripts or contents are usually jumbled up, making the code too complicated for security researchers to analyze.

Script or PHP injection
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Trojan Horses

The Trojan horse is a malicious software program that misrepresents itself to seem helpful or useful to the victim, thereby persuading them to install it and end up falling into their trap. Trojans are the most dangerous malware because they are designed to steal information related to the finance of the organization.

Trojan malware attack
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Attacks

It might be alarming that computer programs can learn, build their knowledge, and get progressively refined without help from anybody. AI can effortlessly be dismissed as another trendy expression in technology. As of now, AI is being utilized in regular applications via an algorithmic procedure — machine learning.

Machine learning software helps prepare a computer to perform specific tasks on their own. They are given the instructions to achieve their goals for each task by doing them repeatedly while finding out the specific obstacles that can hinder them.

Artificial Intelligence attacks
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SQL Injection

SQL injection (SQLI) is an attack that makes use of malicious codes to get control over backend databases so the attacker can get data that’s not meant to be displayed. This may incorporate different things like private client details, user records, or sensitive company data. Even though someone can use SQLI to attack any SQL database, the sites are usually what is being targeted by the culprit.

SQL database injection
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Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is an injection breach whereby malicious scripts are sent by the attacker into content form to any reputable sites.

Another explanation for cross-site scripting is simply when a questionable source is given permission to connect its own code into web applications, and the dynamic contents to be sent to the victim’s browser would be packaged alongside the malicious code. The malicious code is sent as bits of Javascript code the target’s program executes.

XSS injection
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Password Attack

A password attack is an effort an attacker makes to decrypt or get the password of a user with bad intentions in mind. Password sniffers, dictionary attacks, and cracking programs are what’s being used by crackers. For now, the only solution for a password attack is instilling a password policy that incorporates a minimum length, frequent changes, and unrecognizable words since there’s hardly any way to protect your system against it.

Recovering passwords that were either stored or exported via a computer is the way with which password attackers work. For the password recovery, the attacker would constantly guess the password via a computer calculation. The computer attempts a few combinations until it finds the password.

Password hacked
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Insider Threats

Inside attacks are malicious attacks done on a computer or network by a person that has authorized access. The attacker usually has an edge over external attackers since he has full access to the company’s data. They may likewise comprehend the policies of the system and the architecture of the network. Besides, there is less protection from insider attacks because most companies focus only on defending their system against external attacks.

Insider attack
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Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) works by making a network or service unavailable to its expected users. This is made possible by the attacker by overpowering the set goals with traffic or by flooding it with information capable of triggering a crash. In both circumstances, the DoS onslaught denies genuine users that have been anticipated for. DDoS attacks are frequently focused on web servers of prominent organizations, for example, trade organizations and government, media companies, business, and banking.

Network or Service attack
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Eavesdropping Attack

The attacker trying to block a network traffic is how the eavesdropping attack begins. An Eavesdropping breach, otherwise called snooping, or sneaking around, or sniffing, is an attack in network security whereby a person attempts to steal information received or sent to or by cell phones, computers, and other advanced gadgets. This hack profits by network transmissions that are unsecured to get to the data being transmitted.

Birthday Attack

Birthday attack simply refers to the brute-forcing of one-way hashes. It depends on the birthday paradox that states that you will need 253 people in a room to achieve a 50% chance of someone sharing your birthday in that room. Although to get a possibility higher than 50%, you will just need 23 people. This probability will work only because the matches normally depend on pairs.

Brute-Force and Dictionary Network Attacks

Brute-force and dictionary network attacks are known as networking attacks whereby the attacker uses systematic checks and different possible passwords until he finds the right one to log into a user’s account. Brute-force simply means the use of repetition to overpower the system. A dictionary software is needed to hack passwords. A software that combines different dictionary words with tons of variation. The process of hacking a password is rather slow and also less glamorous.

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks is a cybersecurity breach that permits an attacker to eavesdrop on two entities’ communication. It is called “man-in-the-middle” because the attack happens between two genuine parties that communicate well, thereby giving the attacker the full authority to intercept the communication they should not in the first place be able to access. The attacker “eavesdrops” on the discussion by intercepting the public key message transmission. Then, he retransmits the message while switching the key that was requested with his own.

Recent Notable Cyber Attacks

Choosing which cyber attacks were the most exceedingly awful is, apparently, to some degree abstract. This list was made in light of the fact that they got a great deal of notice for different reasons — on the grounds that they were broad, maybe, or on the grounds that they were signs of a bigger, alarming trend.

Here are probably the most recent notable cyber attacks in history, as well as what we can gain from them:

Texas Ransomware Attacks

Computer systems in 22 small towns in Texas were rendered useless by ransomware in August 2019. This left their government incapable of offering fundamental types of assistance like giving birth or death certificates. How did one attacker, utilizing the REvil/Sodinokibi ransomware, figure out how to hit such a large number of towns? There was a single purpose of weakness: an IT vendor who offered different types of services to these municipalities, which were all too little to even consider supporting a full-time IT staff.

However, on the off chance that that kind of collective action opened a weakness, there was a force in the joint effort too. Instead of yielding and paying the $2.5 million requested as ransome, the towns collaborated with the Texas state government’s Department of Information Resources.

A remediation effort was led by the agency and that had the cities within weeks to get back on their feet again, unlike certain places where their systems were offline for months — like Baltimore.


This version control hosting service GitHub was hit by a DoS attack which was quite massive, with 1.35TB per second of target popular site on February 28, 2018. Even though GitHub was intermittently knocked offline and they found a way to beat the attacker and regain control completely under 20 minutes, the sheer size of the attack was stressful; it outpaced the immense attack on Dyn that happened late 2016, which rises at 1.2 TB per second.

The infrastructure that drove the attack was what was more troubling. While the attack on Dyn was the result of the Mirai botnet, which needed malware to infest on a huge number of IoT devices, the GitHub attack abused servers running the Memcached memory caching system, which is capable of returning enormous lumps of data as its response to simple requests.

Memcached is intended to be utilized distinctly on servers that are protected and would be running on internal networks, and for the most part has little by the method of security to keep malicious attackers from caricaturing IP addresses and sending large amounts of data to clueless, unsuspecting victims. A large number of Memcached servers are perched on the open internet, unfortunately, and there has been a tremendous upsurge in their utilization in DDoS attacks. Saying that the servers are “commandeered or hijacked” is scarcely reasonable, as they’ll merrily send parcels to any place they’re told without posing questions.

Only days after the attack on GitHub, another Memcached-based DDoS attack hammered into a U.S. service provider that’s yet to be named with 1.7 TB per second of data.


People might say that the attack on ethereum shouldn’t be on the list but we believe it deserves a spot because of the sheer amount of money that was involved in it. In July, $7.4 million in Ethereum was taken, more like stolen from the Ethereum application platform within just a few minutes. Then, just a few weeks after that theft, a $32 million heist occurred. The entire occurrence brought up issues about the security of blockchain-based currencies

Cyber Attacks Prevention

There are simple, economical steps one can take to reduce the risks in possibly succumbing to an expensive cyber attack even if you currently do not have the necessary resources to get an expert to make security recommendations and also to test your systems. Some of these steps are:

  • Your employees should be trained in the principles of cybersecurity.
  • Ensure that every computer used in your business has antivirus and antispyware programs and that these programs are regularly updated.
  • For your internet connections, use a firewall.
  • Once there are any available software updates for your operating system and applications, ensure that you download them.
  • Change your passwords consistently.
  • Limit the access your employees have to data and information, and also try to limit their authority to installing software.


A data breach could completely ruin a small business costing you thousands or millions of dollars for the sales lost or the damages incurred. This article reviewed some of the most dangerous cyber attacks, some notable organizations that have recently been attacked by one of these cyber attacks, and finally, how you can prevent cyber attacks.