Network Security: What Is An Active Attack In Cybersecurity?

Network Security: What is An Active Attack in Cybersecurity?

by Amelia Scott — 3 years ago in Security 2 min. read

Active attacks are attempts to compromise a system or network, often by altering or introducing new data to disrupt operations. In the world of cybersecurity, hackers frequently target servers or computers, and these ‘active attacks’ can take many forms.

Unlike passive attacks, which are more about surveillance or data collection, active attacks involve direct engagement with the target system, often altering its functions. This makes the use of cloud penetration testing tools essential. They not only identify potential vulnerabilities but also aid in the development of strong security measures to avoid these attacks.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that information gathered during passive attacks can sometimes facilitate active attacks. While passive attacks are similar to spying, silently gathering information without disturbing the system, active attacks are more akin to hacking, involving direct interaction and compromise of the system. Employing testing tools is thus crucial for differentiating and preparing for these various attack types, ensuring a comprehensive defense strategy for network systems.

What Are the Types of Active Attacks?

Attack of the Masks

To gain access to their network, the intruders pretend to be legitimate computer users. Hackers launch masquerade attacks after obtaining usernames and passwords through vulnerability exploitation or evading authentication protocols.
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Session Replay

Session replay attacks are when hackers steal the session ID and login credentials of genuine users. This attack also called a “replay attack” or a playback attack, allows hackers to steal the session ID of a target user to make it appear that they are him or her in network interactions.

Modification to the Message

An attacker can alter the IP addresses in packet headers to commit message tampering. They can also alter data on the target system to gain access to a network.

Attack on Denial-of-Service

DoS attacks block users from accessing specific parts of a network. Hackers must first overwhelm the target machine with excessive traffic to launch a denial of service attack.
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Attack on Distributed Deny of Service

It’s a distributed DoS attack (DDoS), which directs traffic from botnet hacked devices to a targeted computer.

What can you do to prevent an ongoing intrusion?

These are the best ways to keep yourself safe from ongoing attacks.

Randomly generate a session secret. Sessions can only be generated once per transaction. Random session keys are required to prevent malicious users from sending messages with altered content.

One-time passwords can be used to authenticate transactions, agreements, and sessions between participants in communication. Even if an attacker can obtain a password, this process ensures that it will expire before it may be used again.

A kerberos authentication protocol is used by Microsoft Windows Active Directory to verify any user’s identity over insecure networks.
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Engaging in active attacks is dangerous and expensive. They can also be a threat to operations and disrupt processes. Cybercriminals are attracted to computers and networks that have weaknesses. Even though users have access to many defenses, preventing attacks is still the best strategy.

Amelia Scott

Amelia is a content manager of The Next Tech. She also includes the characteristics of her log in a fun way so readers will know what to expect from her work.

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