Types of cyber threats

Cybersecurity is fighting three types of threats.

Cybercrime is an action organized by one or more attackers with the aim of attacking the system in order to disrupt its operation or extract financial benefits.

Cyberattack – actions aimed at collecting information, mainly of a political nature.

Cyberterrorism is actions aimed at destabilizing electronic systems in order to cause fear or panic.

How do attackers manage to gain control over computer systems? They use various tools and techniques – below we list the most common.


The name speaks for itself. Software that causes harm is the most common tool of cybercriminals. They create it themselves in order to use it to damage the user’s computer and the data on it or disable it. Malware is often distributed under the guise of harmless files or email attachments. Cybercriminals use it to make money or carry out an attack for political reasons.

Malware can be very different, here are some common types:

Viruses are programs that infect files with malicious code. In order to spread inside the computer system, they copy themselves.

Trojans are malware that hide under the guise of legal software. Cybercriminals trick users into downloading a Trojan onto their computer, and then collect data or damage it.

Spyware is software that secretly monitors the user’s actions and collects information (for example, credit card data). Then cybercriminals can use it for their own purposes.

Ransomware encrypts files and data. Then the criminals demand a ransom for recovery, claiming that otherwise the user will lose data.

Adware is an advertising program that can be used to spread malware.

Botnets are networks of computers infected with malware that cybercriminals use for their own purposes.

SQL injection

This type of cyberattack is used to steal information from databases. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in data-driven applications to spread malicious code in the Database Management Language (SQL).


Phishing attacks, the purpose of which is to deceive the user’s confidential information (for example, bank card data or passwords). Often during such attacks, criminals send e-mails to victims, posing as an official organization.

Man-in-the-Middle attacks (“man in the middle”)

This is an attack in which a cybercriminal intercepts data during its transmission – it becomes an intermediate link in the chain, and the victims do not even suspect it. You may be exposed to such an attack if, for example, you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

DoS attacks (denial of service attacks)

Cybercriminals create an excessive load on the networks and servers of the target of the attack, which is why the system stops working normally and it becomes impossible to use it. So attackers, for example, can damage important infrastructure components and sabotage the organization’s activities.