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10 Hacking Methods That Are Common in USA and Europe


European IT security company Balabit has conducted a research in which it has highlighted the 10 hacking methods that attackers have been using to breach firewalls in the US and European countries. This research was done through a survey which was sent to different businesses across USA and multiple European countries. Some of the methods that made the cut aren’t surprising at all because internet seems to be the big thing nowadays. So it was very much expected that some of the hacking processes would be related to it. Now let’s dive in and see what popular hacking ways attackers have been deploying to exploit security systems.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is the most used method for hacking as almost 83% of attackers made use of it in both regions. The biggest threat in this category is of phishing, which is a process of fraudulently gaining private information. A fake message is sent to some random email address and the user is asked to click on a certain link. Upon doing so, a spyware sneaks into that particular device, giving access of the phone or the computer to the attacker.

Compromised Accounts

This one is quite simple actually. People with weak passwords are literally handing themselves to hackers on a silver platter. With a little bit of knowledge, attackers are able to guess the right passwords and then compromise the private accounts. The research shows that over 62% of hackers in both regions made use of this method.

Web-Based Attacks

Web-based attacks like SQL or Command Injection are way more dangerous than the aforementioned threats as they can give total control of someone’s device to hackers, allowing the latter to freely do whatever they want with it. 54% attacks in Europe utilized this method, whereas in USA, 51% attacks were done through it.

Client Side Attacks

This attack is used on a big scale nowadays. Some random links are posted on a website that, upon being clicked, install a malware on user’s device. This of course can do a lot of harm. 43% of Europeans were a victim of it, whereas 33% of Americans were successfully targeted through this method.

Exploits Against Popular Servers

All the servers require updates from time to time, and somehow hackers find a way to exploit these updates, especially on the popular servers like OpenSSL or Heartbleed.  17% Europeans were affected by it and it was a threat to 23% users of digital technology in the US.

Unmanaged Personal Devices

This problem usually arises in companies where personal devices are preferred. If only one of those devices contain some sort of malware, they could affect the whole network hence, allowing attackers to exploit all the tools at workplace. The rate of this hacking method was 16% in Europe and 21% in the US.

Physical Intrusion

This process is exactly what it sounds. If someone gets their hands on another individual’s device and they install a malware on it, it will stay there. The usage of this method was 13% in Europe and 15% in USA.

Shadow IT

Shadow IT is a term used to describe IT based solutions that are used in workplaces without an explicit consent of the organization. An example of this method is cloud-based service that can be used in a company by just one department. However, they don’t realize that hackers can sneak malware through such services and then exploit the whole organization’s network. This process was used in 10% of attacks in Europe and 11% in USA.

Third-Party Service Providers

If a company has a contract with a third party and they get affected by some sort of malware, then chances are that they will infect every other network they come in contact with as well. 10% of Europeans got affected by this, whereas 9% digital users in the US became its victim.

Exploitation of Cloud Data

Sometimes, hackers attack the cloud and steal all the data they come across. However, this method isn’t as widespread at the moment. Only 6% of people in both regions were affected by it.