What Does Cyberattack Mean?

what does cyberattack mean

A what does cyberattack mean is any attack on computer information systems, computer networks or infrastructures – or the personal computers and devices of their users. Hackers, criminals and other bad actors use a variety of methods and tools to carry out attacks. They can work alone or with other threat actors. Their goals can range from financial gain — hacking into businesses to steal customer data or proprietary information — to sabotage and espionage – as in the Stuxnet malware attack on Iran’s nuclear systems. They can also be motivated by revenge or a desire to publicly embarrass, damage or disrupt the targets of their attacks.

Decoding Cyberattacks: Understanding the Various Dimensions of Digital Threats

There are many types of cyberattacks, from malware like ransomware — which locks down systems and forces victims to pay hackers to regain access — to phishing attacks that scour the Internet for sensitive information. Other types of cyberattacks include credential stuffing, which tries to gain passwords and other user credentials by guessing or analyzing patterns in previous login attempts. Other threats include scareware, which frightens users into downloading malware or passing their personal information to fraudsters, and rootkits, which give hackers administrator-level access to a computer system.

Some cyberattacks are conducted by nation-states as a way of waging war against their rivals or to demonstrate their power and influence. Others are done by private hackers-for-hire, organized crime groups or hacktivists. And, of course, there are attacks that happen without the involvement of either of those parties, as when a random “random” attacker simply exploits a vulnerability in an operating system to break into a computer network.