Protect Your Business: 6 Common Types of Cyber-Physical Attacks Every Company Should Know About
A cyber attack is a hostile activity that uses numerous means to steal, change, or destroy data or information systems that target computer information systems, infrastructures, networks, or personal computer devices. Cybercriminals nowadays are not amateurs or script kids, but state-sponsored enemies and professional crooks aiming to steal information. While disruption and vandalism remain common, espionage has surpassed hacktivism as the second most crucial motivation behind cyber assaults after financial gain. Many security teams have difficulty keeping their IT systems safe, whatever the motivation.
Because security teams must protect all possible access points, an attacker only has to uncover and exploit one flaw or vulnerability. As a result of this disbalance, even major companies struggle to prevent hackers from selling access to their networks – networks that must often retain open access and connection while attempting to secure company resources.
Types of Cyber-Physical Attacks
- Zero-day attacks
Zero-day attacks aim at a security flaw that has not yet been publicly acknowledged. Because such a vulnerability has not been publicly published, there is a strong likelihood that awareness of it is limited to a small number of people who have discovered it. The consequences of such an industrial-scale attack might be severe, especially if a manufacturing line is hacked with malicious software that is strong enough to defy the installation of any security patch that would deactivate it.
- Eavesdropping Attack
Attackers can unlawfully obtain confidential and sensitive information by conducting eavesdropping attacks on communication channels used by people or institutions to transmit such sensitive information. When information containing sensitive content about how a specific system or production process runs is communicated across an unsecured communication channel, an attacker has the chance to eavesdrop and organize a catastrophic attack on the system.
Eavesdropping attacks are carried out by intercepting network communication. An attacker can collect passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information that a user may be transferred over the network via eavesdropping. Passive or aggressive eavesdropping is possible:
Passive eavesdropping: A hacker identifies information by listening to network message transmission.
Active eavesdropping: A hacker actively obtains information by impersonating a friendly unit and making inquiries to transmitters. This is referred to as probing, scanning, or meddling.
Detecting passive eavesdropping assaults is frequently more critical than detecting active ones because active attacks need the attacker first to gather information about the friendly units through passive eavesdropping.
- Denial of Service Attack
Denial of service (DoS) attacks seek to knock down systems by denying them access to any computing resource, allowing the attacker to take control of the process managed by the targeted system. A DoS attack, for example, might interrupt communication between an industrial server and other lower-level industrial control systems, denying these systems access to the server network. A denial-of-service attack exhausts a system’s resources, preventing it from responding to service requests.
- SQL Injection Attack
SQL injection is a prevalent problem with database-driven websites. It occurs when a malefactor conducts a SQL query to the database using the client-server input data. SQL instructions are placed into data-plane input to run prepared SQL commands (for example, instead of the login or password). A successful SQL injection attack can read sensitive data from the database, edit (add, update, or remove) database data, perform management activities on the database (such as shutdown), retrieve the content of a provided file, and, in certain situations, issue commands to the operating system.
The vulnerability to this cyber security attack stems from SQL’s lack of a clear boundary between the control and data planes. As a result, SQL injections are most effective when a website uses dynamic SQL. Due to the ubiquity of older functional interfaces, SQL injection is also viral in PHP and ASP applications. Because of the nature of the accessible programmatic interfaces, J2EE and ASP.NET applications are less prone to have readily exploited SQL injections.
- Replay Attack
A replay attack happens when a cybercriminal listens in on a secure network transmission, intercepts it, and then falsely delays or resends it in order to misdirect the receiver. The extra risk of replay attacks is that a hacker does not even require technical abilities to decode a communication after it has been captured from the network. Simply resending the entire thing might be enough to make the assault successful.
Consider the following real-world assault scenario. A firm employee requests a money transfer by sending an encrypted message to the company’s financial manager. An attacker intercepts this communication, records it, and now has the ability to resend it. The communication is already properly encrypted and seems valid to the financial administrator since it is an authentic message that has merely been resending.
In this case, unless the financial administrator has cause to be suspicious, the financial manager will likely react to the new request. A considerable quantity of money might be sent to the attacker’s bank account as retaliation.
- Side Channel Attacks
Side-channel attacks are defined as unlawful data acquisition from industrial equipment due to information leakage. For example, attackers can gain crucial information about how a system works by monitoring differences in power utilization while processing data. In-depth surveillance of industrial manufacturing equipment throughout the production process can provide important information that can aid in the creation of a near replica of the product generated by the compromised machine.
A side-channel attack (SCA) is a security hack aiming to harvest information from a chip or system. This can be accomplished by the measurement or analysis of numerous physical properties. Supply current, execution time, and electromagnetic emission are a few examples. These attacks are hazardous to modules that combine cryptographic systems. Many side-channel analysis approaches have proved effective in cracking an algorithmically resistant cryptographic operation and retrieving the secret key.
Cyber-physical assaults are a severe hazard that has frequently resulted in lost millions of dollars. Worryingly, cyber-physical system assaults may potentially result in the loss of human life (for example, an attack on a nuclear power plant system). Recognizing the threat landscape and adopting strong security measures is critical for sectors that rely heavily on CPS.