Top 25 cyberattack Methods Used by Hackers – 2019

Hackers are always equipped with multiple techniques to take down their target, understanding their techniques can be helpful to interrupt their attack vectors, targets, and results. While their attacks could be of different types the mere intention is to erase, encrypt, steal or cause havoc to the targeted network or a device. In this article, we’ll be breaking down 25 cyberattack methods employed by hackers to take down networks or devices.


Hoaxes are a false alert about malware or an attack. Hackers fake the presence of malware in the targeted device normally using a chain of emails. Hoax usually triggers the fear, anger, excitement or eagerness in the end-user. For example, It could be about the death of the celebrity, end of the world, presence of aliens, upcoming disaster, presence of spyware, etc, all these statements or promotions relating to it could be a Hoax. Unlike other cyberattacks, this isn’t dangerous, as it just creates a fake buzz around the internet and the target for a while. The objective could be to create fake news about the entity or waste the end users valuable time.

2.Social Engineering

Social engineering is a process of manipulating people to retrieve information or make them victim to other cyberattacks. It’s a deception created by hackers to lure the targets to disclose critical information directly. Social engineering usually involves a voice process followed by other methods like tailgating, spear-phishing, pretexting, and cold calling. Social engineering attacks are hard to escape unless the target is aware of the social engineering techniques and not disclose their passwords, credit card details, and other confidential data.

3.Denial of Service

Denial of Service (DOS) is a method of sending an enormous amount of traffic to a computer in a network. Hackers normally take help from multiple computers which act like botnets and drive traffic to a single computer network thus disturbing the normal and hence the device will fail ultimately. DOS attacks are usually employed as an initial step to break into a network and the device. Eventually, hackers will execute different attack techniques to infiltrate their data out of the network.


A man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) is a process in which the hacker interrupts the communication between the sender and receiver to eavesdrop into their conversation and fetch the confidential data from that communication. In some cases, hackers can even disguise to be the receiver thus faking it to the sender successfully. Any unencrypted information can be easily intercepted by hackers using this MITM attack technique.

5. Buffer Overflows

Buffer is a temporary memory space allocated to any computer program for its process and workflow. At times computer programs may start using this space exponentially thus the overflow of the data happens, this is called the Buffer Overflow. This could be initiated by hackers intentionally targeting certain computer application using malware.

6.Data Injection

Data injection is the process of injecting random data into critical spaces in the networks, devices, and servers to cause confusion or disturb the actual workflow, resulting in misinterpretation of the data. Unlike the traditional means where hackers go around to encrypt or steal the data, in this case, they add more data to manipulate users and take advantage of it.

7.Cross-site Scripting

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is hacking methodology where hackers insert a malicious JavaScript code into a website and wait for the users to land on the website so that they can gain access to users device or data at their end. XSS can be used for various means like to deploy malware, spy on their webcam and microphone, record your screens, install plugins, etc.

8.Cross-site Request Forgery

This is an attack where users are made to execute certain actions in the web applications without their own knowledge, by giving the picture as it is a legitimate and authenticated website. This attacks target states-changing request since the hacker will not able to see the request that is forged. This attack makes users perform malicious acts like transferring funds, changing email addresses, and more without the user’s knowledge.

9.Privilege Escalation

In this attack, the hacker gains escalated access to network devices using a programming flaw or network flaw that will help hackers penetrate the network critical data. Privilege escalation can be categorized into vertical and horizontal escalations. In vertical, the hackers will be able to access the higher-level data while in case of the latter, it is of the same level, like peer level, and accessing data of a different user under the same privilege.

10.DNS Poisoning and Domain Hijacking

DNS poisoning is the method of faking the location of the actual DNS server, more like spoofing to drive the traffic away from the actual server to the fakes ones that the hacker has set up. However, domain hijacking is a process of theft where the registered domain name is changed without the permission of the original owner, by taking advantage of the hostings and software used for domain registrations.

11.Zero-Day Attacks

Software and applications do contain vulnerabilities which often can be patched if the vendors have released the patches. However, at times it will take a while until the patches are rolled out for that vulnerability. If the discovery of the vulnerability and the attack happened on the same day, it is called the Zero-day attack.

Hackers usually exploit the vulnerability that has been disclosed in public to exploit them later. This is why organizations run a bug bounty program to reward the testers who identify the vulnerabilities in software or network and report it to them in the first place.

12.Replay Attacks

In replay attacks, hackers use certain hacking techniques to slow down or repeat the transmission of the valid data to a network. Replay attacks are used to fool the senders in believing that their data transmission was successful but in reality, the hackers have faked this information. Replay attacks are used to fetch data that is confidential between a send and receiver using a network security protocol.

13.Client Hijacking Attacks

Instead of taking over servers, at times hackers directly take over the clients to breach into their data. This is done by faking the URL and hijacking it. There is a number of reasons to hijack URLs and sell it to the potential buyers making money out of it. Hackers use this attack to put himself inside the client device rather inside the server.

14.Driver Manipulation

Hackers can get deep into your endpoints, and undermine the security of your drivers. Since operating systems interact with the hardware in your device using these drivers, breaching into these drivers will allow hackers to take control of your display and audio, disable AV, and even shut down your graphic processors remotely. Driver manipulation is of two types, Shimming and Refactoring.


Hackers will break into a device or network by faking their GPS location continuously so that when security professionals track back the origin of attack they will end up finding a fake location than the original one. Spoofing is usually built up in more than one layer, meaning the hacker could actually be located in London, but he may be faking his location to be in Texas, Tokyo, and Dubai all at the same time.

16.Wireless Replay Attacks

When a replay attack is executed on a wireless network exploiting the vulnerabilities in that wireless network it is called Wireless Replay Attack.

17.Rogue Access Points and Evil Twins

Any access points in the network which the hacker can access physically to gain access to the network using that illegitimate AP is called as Rogue Access Point Attacks. However Evil Twin is similar to the RAP, but it does create a fake network similar to the original one, making it look legitimate.

18.Remote code execution

Remote code execution will allow hackers to execute commands to the target devices remotely using the vulnerability existing in the device or the network from a different location. Remote code executions are easy to execute once the hacker is aware of the vulnerability in a software or network.

19.WPS Attacks

WPS attack is a process of gaining access to wireless networks by brute-forcing passphrases into the user device from which the WPS is hosted. Example: A user has configured a device for wireless network using WAP which requires the PIN as protection. Hackers can break through these PIN numbers and infiltrate the network.

20.Bluejacking and Bluesnarfing

Accessing an unauthorize information and data using a wireless device like Bluetooth, desktops, tablets and mobile devices is called as Bluesnarfing. The process of theft is Bluesnarfing and the process of transmitting data to the target device is called as Bluejacking.

21.Wireless Attacks

Taking down a network or a device using wireless means is called as wireless attacks. There are different types of wireless attacks like rogue wireless access attacks, eavesdropping, waterhole attacks, and more.

22.Cryptographic Attacks

Taking down networks and systems by infiltrating into the weakness of crypto codes, cipher and cryptography are called a cryptographic attack. This is usually done when there is cryptographic security being established in the targeted network.

23.SQL Injection Attacks (SQLi)

The method of using SQL statements to breach into a database server within a web application is called a SQL injection attack. This is usually used to get past the application securities that is inbuilt in the targeted application.

24.Tailgating and Impersonation

Tailgating is the process of physically following a targeted user into his secured premises to breach into his data for further infiltration. Moreover, impersonation is when a hacker disguises himself as a different person in order to fetch information or access critical data which that disguised person would be capable of.

25.Spear phishing

The process of performing a phishing attack on a targeted user or device, by planning the overall execution in long term and executing it perfectly to make sure there is zero traces of a cyberattack is called Spear Phishing. This will be ten times more perfect and accurate than a normal phishing attack.

All these 25 cyberattacks can be employed by hackers to infiltrate into your network/device and extract data, encrypt data, spy on you or cause chaos to your network and business. Equipping the right security controls can save you from unforeseen cyber attacks and keep your network safe from these anonymous breaches.

Hope this article helpful for you. Thank You

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