With the increasing utilization of technology in modern society, danger arises in regards to software security. Cyber-attacks occur frequently on both small- and large-scale levels, prompting the implementation of security software into computer systems. However, even these programs are often unable to prevent attacks from outside sources that target technological vulnerabilities. There is hence a looming threat of breached security aroused in individual computer users and large corporations that depend on computers for day-to-day affairs. These cyber attacks occur more and more frequently as technological advancements are made.
There is a great variety in the methods and types of cyber-attacks. Malware, or malicious software, is the most generic method of attack that can occur with the use of any software. Single computers and servers are targeted by viruses and the less popular worm and trojan varieties. Malware makes computers and servers inoperable to users but allows the attacker to access anything in the system. Phishing is another common attack technique that utilizes emails to target systems. The emails contain invalid links to documents and websites that prompt the user to enter personal information, making bank account numbers and online passwords readily available to attackers. Influxes of website traffic, known as Denial of Service attacks, are used to overwhelm computer systems and create vulnerabilities, and Man in the Middle attacks mimic traditional login screens to obtain information about a user. These techniques, along with many others, are responsible for some of the most recent cyber-attacks.
A May 2017 attack infected many United Kingdom computers and withheld access through software called WannaCry. Payment was demanded in exchange for regranted access to the computers’ contents. The WannaCry attack became controversial due to its utilization of US National Security codes. Petya is a well-known phishing attack that occurred in 2016. It encrypted the records of computers and made user access to files difficult. In 2017 this technique erupted again in a more malicious form described as NotPetya. This attack is believed to have been organized by Russia, although its true source has yet to be discovered. The cryptocurrency known as Ether was stolen by the millions in an attack on the Ethereum app. The use of alternative currency has since been criticized by many who fear future attacks. The Equifax credit agency is another upsetting breach of security that allowed attackers to access the personal information of millions of people.
Despite the convenience and accessibility that technology provides us, there exist certain risks with storing personal and company information on computer storage platforms. Attacking strategies are developed and adapted to allow attackers to access to this information, and the integrity and high regard of certain programs are compromised. The serious harm that can occur from cyber attacks should not be underestimated. Appropriate security automation software should be utilized, and computer users should limit how much information they make available through their computers. Companies must also maintain an adequate level of security to uphold their reputation and keep customers and employees satisfied, while preserving their trust.