Cyber attacks are a growing, real and present threat in today’s digital age. As a regional hub for technology and business, Singapore is a frequent target of cyber attacks. These attacks can include malicious attempts to disrupt, damage or even gain unauthorised access to systems, networks or electronic devices belonging to individuals and businesses. Depending on the attacker’s intentions, the consequences of these cyber attacks can range from financial loss to personal data breaches.

In this article, we’ll cover the 10 most common types of cyber attacks in Singapore. We’ll cover what they are, how they work, as well as strategies and recommendations for preventing them.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the common types of cyber attacks in Singapore and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your business from these threats.


#1 Phishing Cyber Attacks

Phishing is one of the most common types of cyber attacks in Singapore. In a phishing attack, the attacker sends an email or message that appears to be from a reputable source, such as a bank, company, or government agency, in an attempt to trick the recipient into providing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or social security numbers.

Phishing attacks can be difficult to detect, as the emails or messages may look legitimate and convincing. They often include a sense of urgency or fear, encouraging the recipient to act quickly and provide the requested information. Some phishing emails may even contain a link that leads to a fake website that looks like the real thing, where the attacker can collect the victim’s personal information.

How to Prevent Phishing Cyber Attacks?

Phishing attacks can be prevented when users are vigilant and know how to take precautionary measures to protect themselves. These can include verifying the sender’s email address and domain name before clicking any links or providing any personal information.

There are also other telltale signs like grammatical errors or typos that can indicate a phishing attempt. It is also helpful to adopt the best practice of never sharing sensitive information over email or messages.

Finally, there is also the possibility of installing anti-phishing software and email filters, as well as enabling two-factor authentication for your accounts whenever possible. By taking these steps, you can protect yourself and your business from the dangers of phishing attacks.


#2 Malware Cyber Attacks

Malware is a type of cyber attack that uses malicious software to disrupt, damage, or even gain unauthorised access to computers, networks, and electronic devices. It can infect a system via malicious email attachments, infected software downloads, or compromised websites. They are often disguised as an innocent program which the user then downloads and runs on their computer.

Once malware is installed on a device or network, it can execute a range of harmful activities, including stealing sensitive data, encrypting files for ransom, and hijacking control of the device or network. To make matters worse, malware can also infect other devices or networks that are connected, causing a chain reaction of damage.

How to Prevent Malware Cyber Attacks?

Like many cyber attacks, malware is best prevented via proactive measures. Anti-malware software and firewall can stop malware in its tracks before infection takes root while users should also be informed of and follow security best practices such as avoiding downloading software or opening attachments from unverified sources. At the same time, keeping software up to date with the latest security patches can fix any potential vulnerabilities in your systems.

For businesses, it’s best to educate employees on the dangers of malware and how to spot suspicious activity such as unexpected pop-ups or slow device performance. Employees are most likely to encounter malware in their line of work, and it is much easier to prevent a malware attack rather than fix it once the damage has been done.

If you suspect that your device or network has been infected with malware, it’s crucial to seek your organisation’s IT team for assistance immediately to mitigate the damage.


#3 Ransomware Cyber Attacks

In 2021, 137 firms in Singapore fell prey to ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that is designed to encrypt files on a device or network, making it inaccessible and demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. This type of attack can be devastating as it can result in the loss of sensitive data and significant financial damage.

Like malware, ransomware can enter a system via phishing emails, malicious attachments, and compromised websites. Once installed, the program will encrypt all files on the device or network, rendering them inaccessible without the decryption key. The attacker will then demand payment, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key.

How to Prevent Ransomware Cyber Attacks?

Since ransomware belongs to the malware category of cyber attacks, the same practices can be used to prevent them. The use of anti-malware software can catch ransomware before it can encrypt files on the system, while employees should also be trained in anti-malware best practices — such as avoiding downloads or opening attachments from unverified sources as well as regularly backing up important files to a secure external device or cloud service.

If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, it’s important to seek professional assistance immediately. In some cases, decryption tools may be available to recover your files without paying the ransom. However, in other cases, paying the ransom may be the only option to regain access to your data. Regardless of the outcome, it’s important to report the attack to the relevant authorities and take steps to prevent future attacks.


#4 DDoS Cyber Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is one of the most frequent types of cyber attacks that an organisation may come across. It aims to disrupt the normal functioning of a website or network by overwhelming it with traffic. In a DDoS attack, the attacker uses a network of compromised devices, known as a botnet, to flood the target with requests or data packets. This can cause the target to slow down or become completely unresponsive, rendering it unusable for legitimate users.

DDoS attacks can be very damaging for businesses and organisations, particularly those that rely heavily on their online presence. For businesses that rely on selling online, a slow website can significantly affect revenue.

How to Prevent DDoS Cyber Attacks?

One of the best tools against DDoS cyber attacks is a DDoS mitigation service which can detect and block malicious traffic before it reaches the target. This may sometimes be included in your website hosting plan, so it is important to check with your webmaster. Besides a mitigation service, you should also regularly monitor network traffic to spot suspicious activity, and maintain strong security practices, such as updating website plugins and using strong passwords.

Depending on the severity of the attack, it may be necessary to temporarily shut down the affected system or network depending on the severity of the attack. Future attacks can be prevented by increasing network security and implementing additional safeguards.


#5 Brute Force Cyber Attacks

A brute force attack is a type of cyber attack where the attacker attempts to guess a password or encryption key by systematically trying every possible combination until the correct one is found. While rudimentary, they can be extremely effective if the network or system does not have measures in place to prevent brute force attacks.

If there are no safeguards in place, it is only a matter of time before a password can be cracked by a brute force attack.

How to Prevent Brute Force Cyber Attacks?

One of the best ways to prevent a brute force attack is to follow best practices and create strong, unique passwords for each account. Typically, this means using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, and avoiding common phrases or easily guessable information, such as names or birthdays. The longer your password, the longer it will take for a brute force attack to succeed.

If possible, you should also set a limit on the number of attempts that can be made to log into an account. Doing so will prevent hackers from using automated tools to try different combinations until they are successful.


#6 SQL Injection Cyber Attacks

SQL injection is a type of cyber attack where the attacker inserts malicious code into a SQL database query, allowing them to access, modify, or delete data stored in the database. This cyber attack targets websites that depend on databases to serve their users. The attacker poses as a “client” and sends an SQL query into a data field where it is not supposed to go, such as a login or a password field. When the server receives this query, it executes it without verifying its validity, thus allowing the attacker to gain authorised access to the system.

If an SQL injection succeeds, the attacker can obtain sensitive data like credit card numbers or login credentials. They may even modify or delete data, disrupt the server’s operations or take control of the entire network.

How to Prevent SQL Injection Cyber Attacks?

To safeguard against SQL injection attacks, organisations should use secure coding practices and keep their software and systems up to date with the latest security patches. This includes using parameterized queries to separate user input from the SQL query and sanitising user input to eliminate any malicious code. Limiting access to the SQL database to authorised users and securing the network also reduces the risk of a successful attack.

If you suspect that you are the victim of a SQL injection attack, it’s important to take immediate action to protect your information and systems. This may include disabling affected accounts or devices, restoring backups of the database, and seeking professional assistance to assess and address any vulnerabilities that may have been exploited.


#7 Man-in-the-Middle Cyber Attacks

A man-in-the-middle (MitM) cyber attack is when an attacker positions themselves in the “middle” between two parties trying to communicate, effectively spying on the interaction. This happens when an attacker is able to intercept communication sent back and forth between two parties to eavesdrop, steal data, or modify information.

MitM cyber attacks can be subtle and hard to detect. Both parties will appear to be communicating normally without any indication that an attack is going on. In the background, however, the attacker is free to observe messages or even modify or access them before they reach their destination.

How to Prevent MitM Cyber Attacks?

MitM attacks can be prevented by using secure communication channels. Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram state that your messages are encrypted end-to-end for this very reason — giving users peace of mind that their messages are safe.

Most enterprise communication apps like Microsoft Teams will also provide encryption for messages. Besides using secure communication apps, you can ensure that all your software and devices are consistently updated with the latest security patches that may fix any potential vulnerabilities that may enable a MitM attack.


#8 Insider Cyber Attacks

While it is easy to focus on protecting yourself against cyber attacks from external threats, one of the most common avenues of cyber attacks comes from insiders with privileged information. These internal actors may be current or former employees with direct access to the company network or sensitive data.

While the types of cyber attacks that have been covered thus far in this article are mostly malicious in nature, insider cyber attacks can be either malicious or negligent in nature. Malicious insider attacks may sell confidential information for financial gain, while negligent insider threats can be as simple as leaving a workstation unattended while accessing sensitive data, or installing programs from unverified sources.

To combat this, organisations should implement a comprehensive cybersecurity training program that teaches stakeholders to be aware of any potential attacks, including those potentially performed by an insider.

How to Prevent Insider Cyber Attacks?

Insider cyber attacks can be prevented by implementing robust cybersecurity policies and educating users on best cybersecurity practices. Employees should be aware of any potential avenue of cyber attacks, and be encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the IT team.

Moreover, strict policies like supervised use of sensitive workstations, rotating passwords and even phishing tests are some great ways to keep employees cognizant of cybersecurity and prevent them from becoming complacent and negligent.


#9 DNS Spoofing Cyber Attacks

Domain Name System (DNS) spoofing is a type of cyber attack that targets the URL of websites. In this cyber attack, the attacker intercepts and modifies DNS queries to redirect victims to a malicious website. This is achieved by falsifying DNS records and injecting them into the DNS cache of a local or remote DNS server, allowing the attacker to redirect traffic to a server of their choosing.

In layman’s terms, the victim is sent to a fake website that may be designed to look like their original intended destination. Once on the fraudulent site, the victim may unknowingly enter sensitive information that the hacker can then use.

DNS spoofing attacks can be carried out in various ways, including through the use of malware, social engineering tactics, or by exploiting vulnerabilities in the DNS infrastructure. These attacks can have severe consequences, such as compromising the security of sensitive information or stealing login credentials.

How to Prevent DNS Spoofing?

To prevent DNS spoofing attacks, it’s important to use secure DNS protocols and implement measures such as Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), which digitally signs DNS records to prevent tampering.

Additionally, users can protect themselves by using a trusted DNS resolver, such as Google Public DNS or Cloudflare DNS, which are less likely to be vulnerable to spoofing attacks.


#10 URL Interpretation Cyber Attacks

URL interpretation is a cyber attack where the attacker manipulates or fabricates URL addresses to enter areas they should not have access to. This kind of attack exploits the syntax of a website’s URL.

For example, if an attacker wanted to access “”, they might type “”, which is a common URL to access a website’s admin login page. From there, they might try to access the website’s backend using the default admin login credentials or easily guessed passwords. Once in, they can steal, manipulate, or delete data as they please.

How to Prevent URL Interpretation?

To prevent URL interpretation attacks, secure authentication methods such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and complex passwords should be employed for sensitive areas of a website.

Limiting access to areas that don’t require access is another way to prevent URL interpretation attacks. Additionally, keeping software up-to-date with the latest security patches can help prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities that may be present in the site’s software.


Protect Yourself and Your Business From Cyber Threats

Cyber attacks in Singapore are not new and are in fact becoming a regular occurrence in recent years. With the increased integration of technology into our personal and professional lives, cyber threats will only continue to grow in complexity and frequency. There is a pressing need for both individuals and organisations to take cybersecurity seriously to protect company data, their customers’ data and adhere to compliance requirements in order to avoid punishments like hefty fines.

FirstCom Academy’s comprehensive cybersecurity course covers topics such as risk management, identifying potential threats, and implementing appropriate safeguards to ensure your organisation has the appropriate cybersecurity policies in place. Our course is designed to provide individuals and businesses with the skills and knowledge needed to protect sensitive data, maintain customer trust, and ensure long-term success.

Benefits of the course include improved earning potential and employability for individuals, while businesses can benefit from increased customer trust and loyalty, as well as proactively mitigating potential cybersecurity threats.

Don’t wait for a cyber attack to happen! Be proactive and learn how to mitigate cybersecurity risks. Take the first step in protecting yourself or your business by enrolling in FirstCom Academy’s cybersecurity course today!


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