5 most dangerous cyber security vulnerabilities that are exploited by hackers

Here are 5 of the most dangerous cyber security vulnerabilities that are exploited by hackers

All the major government organizations and financial firms stress upon the issue of cyber security in today’s world. Sensitive data of any company, more so of those that keep largely public data, has been the target of some of the most notorious hackers of the world. Illegal access by an unauthorized person is the most devastating thing that could happen to an organization, for its sensitive data would then be at the mercy of the attacker.

Manipulation, data, and theft of data, as well as leaking of company secrets and shutting down services, are just some of the many things that hackers have the license to do once they gain access to a system. The fact that (PDF) over $575 million worth of damage has been done due to cyber crime is indicative of the fact that cyber terrorism and cyber crime is the most dangerous thing in today’s world when everything is computerized.

We take a look at the 5 of the most dangerous cyber security vulnerabilities that are exploited by hackers.

Buffer Overflow

Buffer overflow is quite common and also painstakingly difficult to detect. In a buffer overflow attack, an application that stores data in more space than its buffer allocation is exploited into manipulating and misusing other buffer addresses. The manipulation includes overwriting the data on those other buffer addresses as well as damage and deletion of the data.

Although buffer overflow is difficult to detect, it is also difficult to carry out, for the attacker needs to know the buffer allocation mechanism of the system. However, if the hacker has that knowledge, he or she can easily exploit this by sending an application more data than it can store in the buffer prescribed for it. After doing so, the attacker can gain access to the user’s system when control is returned to his code. Web servers and user systems are vulnerable to this attack.

Injection Vulnerabilities

An application sending untrusted data to an interpreter is an instance of injection vulnerability. SQL and XML parsers and program arguments are the common targets of such an attack. If carried out successfully, injection vulnerability attacks can easily result in loss and damage of data.

Exposure of Sensitive Data

Arguably the most dangerous and most common vulnerability, exposure of sensitive data results in catastrophic losses for any organization. Attackers, therefore, use this vulnerability to inflict as much damage as possible.  The target data can be stolen when it is resting in the system, in an exchange transit or in a backup store. Malware is used by hackers when the data is in the system and cryptanalysis techniques like a Man-in-the-Middle attack when it is in exchange transit.

Broken Session Management and Authentication

This attack takes advantage of some weak spots in session management as well as connection authentication between two systems. Failure to employ sufficient encryption techniques can help hackers do all kinds of cyber espionage using this vulnerability.

Security misconfiguration

Quite easy to avoid and quite common, but disastrous when exploited nevertheless. The reasons for this vulnerability to be exploited are many, like using default system settings and passwords, running out-dated software, and not keeping strong enough passwords. Although such mistakes are easy to avoid, it is alarming how many times an attacker gains access to a user’s system and the sensitive data in it due to failure to avoid such mistakes.


Cyber security is something that is quite an important issue. We tried to make our readers aware of some of the most common vulnerabilities and would recommend them to do further research to know all there is to know about protecting their systems. Knowing is the initial step, and with this article, we aim to help you in your initial step.

Top, Featured Image CreditYuri Samoilov/Flickr

Ali Raza

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.