What is Attack Vector?

To infiltrate into a system, cybercriminals use different methods; Attack Vector is one of them.

In this post, we would know in detail what Attack Vector is, why and how do hackers exploit it, and how to protect your system against Attack Vectors.

What is Attack Vector?

Atack Vector is a malicious term used for describing the path or the method used by cybercriminals to get entry into a system. It allows the attackers to exploit the vulnerabilities and loopholes to deploy malware and conduct other malicious activities on the system.

Once the cybercriminals get an entry into the system using the attack vector, they can get full access to a system or a group of systems remotely and gain sensitive information such as personal identification numbers, social security numbers, banking details, and more. If Attack vectors are used in organizational systems, the attackers can get their hand into information or data that could lead to data breaches, thereby resulting in a heavy financial loss.

How can Cyberattackers use Attack Vectors?

Though Attack Vectors are mainly used for gaining monetary benefits, attackers can also use them for accomplishing other ill-disposed intentions.

Here are top purposes Attack Vector can be used for:

  • Getting the credit or debit card details for stealing the money

  • Attack vectors can be used to access personal information like biometrics and medical details. Such data can be used to carry out insurance fraud, buy illegal drugs, and carry out more such illicit activities.

  • Some organizations might direct cybercriminals to use Attack Vectors to destroy the business of their competitors. This can be done by overloading the servers with unnecessary data and cause Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Apart from this, customer data can also be stolen using the Attack Vectors.

  • Attack Vectors are not always used for monetary gains. Cybercriminals can also use them for shaming an organization publicly.

  • It can also be used for initiating cyber wars between countries or leak political secrets.

How do attackers exploit the Vector Attacks?

Vector Attacks are just the medium. Cybercriminals need to exploit them for conducting the attacks. There are two approaches used for it:

  • Passive Attacks: In this, the attackers infiltrate the system and access it without disturbing the system resources, and the victims have no idea about the attack. An example of a Passive attack is social engineering attack.

  • Active Attack: In this, the attacker directly attacks the system, disables its functions, and uses the system resources for carrying out illicit activities on the system.

To take advantage of Attack Vector, generally, the following pattern is followed:

  • First, a target is finalized by detecting the vulnerabilities.

  • Information and data about the target are collected and using email sniffing or social engineering.

  • Using the collected data, the infiltration path, i.e., the Attack Vector, is finalized. Malware is coded, and necessary tools are gathered.

  • By using the Attack Vector, Cybercriminals infiltrate the victim's device and install the malware.

  • Now, the system is controlled by the attackers for carrying out illicit activities.

How to protect your system against common Attack Vectors?

By now, you might have known how dangerous Attack Vectors can be. So, it is essential to safeguard your system from them. Here are a few preventive tips:

  • Never open suspicious links, emails, and attachments.

  • When on a call with tech support, never share your sensitive details like login credentials or Credit Card numbers. Before receiving such calls, verify whether they are from official sources.

  • Always keep your system equipped with a robust security solution. Security solutions like antimalware are implicitly designed for blocking and destroying such attacks.