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What is Cyber Vandalism & What Can You Do About It?

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2024 and filed under

What is Cyber Vandalism

Cyber vandalism is a form of cyber attack where the attacker’s primary goal is to damage systems, network, or data. It may be financially motivated, but it is not usually as financially motivated as other types of cyber attacks.

“Cyber vandalism isn’t talked about as often as bigger attacks like ransomware. However, it’ still a major data breach risk that business owners should keep in mind.”Jim Stackhouse, Founder & Chief Technologist, NeoLore Networks

Businesses must be aware of these risks because they don’t always warrant the same cybersecurity measures as other threats. Of course, business-grade antivirus software and cyber hygiene best practices are always important, but sometimes additional precautions should be used.

If you’re not sure what those additional precautions should be. This article is here to help you. We’ll review the most common types of cyber vandalism and discuss how to protect yourself from them.

8 Popular Forms of Cyber Vandalism

1. Website Defacements

Website defacements occur when hackers gain unauthorized access to a website and change its visual appearance or content. Hackers might use this opportunity to spread harmful content or malicious code.

Ensure your software and all third-party plugins are up to date. Developers often release updates to fix security holes. You should also perform regular website backups. This way, you can restore your site quickly in the unfortunate event of a defacement.

2. Data Vandalism

Data vandalism’s definition refers to the deliberate act of altering or destroying data within digital environments. This malicious activity can range from changing website content to corrupting databases.

To protect yourself from data vandalism, start by regularly updating your software and systems. Hackers often exploit outdated systems, so staying current can prevent many attacks. Additionally, implement strong passwords and access controls. Limit who can modify important data and regularly review access logs to detect unauthorized attempts.

3. Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS Attacks)

DDoS attacks occur when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers. These attacks can disrupt the services of a website, making it inaccessible to users. These types of attacks are quite common. In 2022, Microsoft managed an average of 1,955 DDoS attacks each day.

Consider using DDoS protection services. These services can help absorb the traffic aimed at your network, allowing your website to remain operational. It’s also important to keep a close eye on your network so you can respond to the first signs of an attack promptly.

4. Account Hijacking

Account hijacking occurs when someone gains unauthorized access to your online accounts, including email, banking, or social media accounts. This intrusion allows the attacker to misuse your identity and steal personal information.

Use strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. Avoid using easily guessable passwords and consider using a password manager to keep track of them. Secondly, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification beyond just your password.

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5. Physical Computer Vandalism

Physical computer vandalism involves the deliberate damage or destruction of computer hardware. This type of vandalism can range from smashing a device to damaging servers that store critical data. Clearly, extensive hardware damage will lead to significant financial losses. However, physical damage of this nature can also compromise data integrity.

To prevent computer vandalism, use physical security measures. This might mean installing security cameras, using locks for your devices, and ensuring that your computer and server rooms are only accessible to authorized personnel. Additionally, consider using cable locks for laptops and other portable devices to make them harder to steal.

6. Email Bombing

Email bombing is when someone sends a huge number of emails to a single email address quickly. This can flood your inbox, making it hard to find important emails and even crash your email system.

Use an email service that has good spam filters. These filters can help block many unwanted emails from reaching your inbox. Also, never share your email address publicly where anyone can find it. Instead, use a separate email address for public activities and another for personal or internal business communication.

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7. Domain Name System (DNS) Hijacking

DNS hijacking occurs when hackers disrupt your online operations by redirecting your website’s visitors to fraudulent sites without your knowledge. 72% of organizations have been targeted for this kind of attack. Still, this can quickly compromise your customers’ trust and security.

It’s critical to utilize secure and reputable DNS servers. Enhanced security features provided by some internet service providers can offer additional layers of protection. Regularly updating your router’s firmware is also vital, as outdated routers are prime targets for hijackers.

8. SQL Injection

SQL injection is when hackers insert malicious SQL code into your database through input fields on your website. This allows them to access, steal, or destroy sensitive information from your database. SQL injection attacks take various forms, which will require slightly different protection measures.

Here’s a quick overview of them.

Type Description  Prevention
In-band SQLi The attacker uses the same communication channel to launch the attack and gather results. Use prepared statements and parameterized queries.
Inferential SQLi Rather than transferring data, the attacker sends data to the database and observes the response to infer information. Implement web application firewalls and regularly review database access controls.
Out-of-band SQLi Data is retrieved using a different channel, often because direct transfer is not possible. Ensure timely patching of SQL and database software, and limit database server access.

Protect Yourself From The Effects of Cyber Vandalism With Professional Help

Keeping track of your IT systems to prevent cyber vandalism attacks isn’t always easy. It requires constant vigilance that a busy business owner may not have much of. That’s why it’s important to trust the right cybersecurity team for the job.

NeoLore Networks can provide that cybersecurity team if you don’t have one. Even if you do, we can work alongside them to cover more ground and prevent more attacks. We’ll also help you minimize the impact of cyber vandalism if it happens to occur.

Contact us to get started.