What Are the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks in the 2020s?

What Are the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks in the 2020s?

Cyber Security and Hacking

What Are the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks in the 2020s?

Cyber Attacks: The single most dangerous thing on the internet affecting everyone from businesses to individual people. Back in the day, the only cyber attack anyone had to worry about was viruses, but now, personal information is routinely collected through both legal and illegal means, and the majority of cyber attacks are directed at stealing your passwords and personal information to sell on to others. The Australian Cyber Security Centre received over 76,000 cybercrime reports across the year 2021, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year. This equates to one report every 7 minutes, compared to every 8 minutes last financial year.

What Types of Cyber Attacks are there?

There are dozens of different types of cyber attacks, but the main thing they have in common is they all seek to either disrupt, damage or steal, sometimes all three at once. Let’s look at a few of the most common types.

Ransomware: This was the single most common type of attack in 2021 and 2022. Ransomware attacks are where a person downloads a program that proceeds to infect and blackmail the individual who downloaded it – often holding either stolen information or the physical device at ransom by overloading or threatening to corrupt or release the existing data.

The sad truth is that there is often no protection from many of these attacks, many are simply out of our hands. But there are ways to protect yourself and control what information gets out there in the first place. Knowledge is the best form of protection.

DoS and DDoS: denial-of-service and distributed denial-of-service attacks are the type of cyber attack where a PC is overloaded with data and information requests, forcing productivity to halt while it processes the information. This often precedes a major theft of information or the issuing of a ransom by ransomware.

Phishing: Ever received an email or message with a suspicious link but it came from someone you know and trust? That’s a phishing attack, and the intent is to use trust to encourage you to click the link and download infected software. This may be a virus, ransomware, or some other harmful software.

Password Attack: This is the type of cyber attack many of us fear. Where our precious passwords are taken from our records and sold to others, granting others access to our accounts, businesses, and important sources of income or information. Although some of these attacks are simply brute-force attacks, educated or calculated guesses by a person or software, some can be more complex, such as monitoring personal networks or using software (delivered via phishing or another attack) to monitor keystrokes and record all such information.

Who gets attacked?

In a word, you. Any country that has a strong middle class of online users is a primary target for cyber-attacks. This isn’t simply a matter of wealth, it’s numbers. Cyber-attacks can hit thousands of people in seconds, and it’s often indiscriminate. These types of attacks are the most common any individual will have to deal with, but they’re also the easiest to defend against. Simple awareness and the use of protective anti-malware services can assist with this, and for more complex attacks, it’s possible to obtain a Master of Cyber Security through online education, allowing much greater personal protection.

However, the worst kind of attacks are the ones you can’t protect against, at least not without a high degree of knowledge, suspicion and personal security. These are the well-targeted attacks against government and corporate bodies that can hit tens to hundreds of thousands of people with a single successful attack. These types of attacks, known as Data Breaches, have been growing steadily over the last few years as these attacks take advantage of common weaknesses in large corporate and professional structures, and the profits of such high numbers are immense.

These attacks are almost impossible for an individual to defend against, but the cost to the individual can be much greater than to the business that lost the information to begin with. While there are mechanisms that can be implemented by those companies, these often require the work of experts and unfortunately, cyber security experts are a rare thing. There simply aren’t enough for all the companies that exist, for this reason, many countries offer government grants or scholarships to anyone looking at studying a master of Cyber Security in order to better meet the growing demands of the industry, country and individuals as a whole.


Cyber Security is one of the greatest threats to your personal information and income, and in a world where so much of ourselves can be found online, knowing what the threats are and how to defend against them is critical for defending ourselves against hostility, theft and harm.

Cyber Security and Hacking

What Are the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks in the 2020s?