Types of Attacks on an Operating System
In operating system attacks, vulnerable OS versions are mostly targeted. Sometimes, a newer update of an OS also brings a zero-day. This is a continuous cycle of finding bugs and vulnerabilities in the source code and patching it.
Bugs in the source code of an operating system are another way for attackers to intrude. This vulnerability might be a mistake by the developer while developing the program code. Attackers can discover these mistakes and use them to gain access to the system.
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Types of Attacks:
Some of the most common attacks of an operating system are:
Buffer Overflow is one of the major types of operating system attacks. It is related to software exploitation attacks. When a program or application does not have well-defined boundaries, such as restrictions or pre-defined functional areas regarding the capacity of data it can handle or the type of data that can be inputted, buffer overflow causes problems such as Denial of Service (DoS), rebooting, attaining unrestricted access, and freezing.
They are common in a corporate network. While installing new systems, the administrator must change the default configurations. If systems are left on default configuration, any user who does not have the privilege to access but has connectivity can access it using default credentials. It is not a big deal for an intruder to access such systems because the default configuration has common and weak passwords, and there are no security policies enabled on systems by default.
Similarly, permitting an unauthorized person or giving resources and permission to a person beyond the privileges might also lead to an attack. Additionally, using the organization’s name as a username or password makes it easier for hackers to guess the credentials.
Shrink Wrap Code
It is another technique for gaining access to a system. In this type of attack, unpatched operating systems and poorly designed software and applications are targeted. To understand shrink wrap vulnerabilities, consider an operating system that has a bug in its original software version. The vendor may have released the update, but the time between the release of a patch by the vendor and the client’s system updates is very critical. During this critical time, unpatched systems are vulnerable to the Shrinkwrap attack. Shrinkwrap attacks also exploit vulnerable software in an operating system, bundled with insecure test pages and debugging scripts. The developer must remove these scripts before releasing the software.
Unpatched operating systems keep the system at risk and invite attackers to exploit the vulnerability. Successful intrusions can impact severely in the form of compromising sensitive information, data loss, and disruption of regular operation. Precautions must be taken to prevent these kinds of attacks from entering your operating system.