What is an Active Attack in Cybersecurity?

Active attacks are defined as an attack on a network or system that has already begun. In this type of assault, the threat actor alters or introduces new data into a network or system to disrupt its operation.

When someone tries to “hack” into a server or computer, the term “active attack” refers to all of the operations that take place. Hackers that carry out active attacks rather than passive attacks are more likely to make changes to the target’s system. The data obtained through passive attacks can be used to launch an active attack in some instances, as seen in the following example. An active assault, on the other hand, maybe compared to “hacking,” and a passive attack can be compared to “spying.”

Also Read: How Can Hackers Hack Social Media Accounts?

What Types of Active Attacks Are There?

  • Attack of the Masks

Intruders appear to be genuine computer users to obtain access to the network they are connected to in a masquerade assault. After acquiring usernames and passwords via vulnerability exploitation or evading authentication protocols, hackers launch masquerade attacks.

  • Attacking the Session Replay

A session replay attack occurs when a hacker obtains the login credentials of a genuine user by stealing the session ID. This type of assault, which is also known as a playback attack or a “replay attack,” allows hackers to acquire a target’s credentials so that they may appear to be him or her in network interactions.

  • Modification of the Message

In message tampering, attackers alter the IP addresses of packet headers. As a result, they can change data on a target system to gain access to a network.

  • Denial-of-Service Attack

DoS attacks prevent users from accessing certain parts of a network. To launch a denial-of-service attack, hackers must first overload the target machine with an excessive amount of traffic.

  • Attack on Distributed Denial of Service

It is a distributed DoS attack (DDoS) that directs traffic from a botnet of hacked devices to a target computer.

What Can You Do to Prevent an Ongoing Intrusion?

Here are some of the greatest ways to protect yourself from an ongoing attack:

  • Randomly generate a session key. Session IDs can be generated for a limited period, such as one transaction. To prevent malicious users from resending messages with altered content, random session keys should be employed.
  • Agreements, transactions, and sessions between communication participants can be authenticated by using one-time passwords. Even if an attacker manages to gain a password, this procedure assures that it will expire before it can be used.
  • Any user’s identity may be verified over insecure networks using the Kerberos authentication protocol, which is utilised by Microsoft Windows Active Directory.


It is risky and costly to engage in active assaults. They can also threaten operations and cause process disruptions. A computer or network’s weaknesses make it a prime target for cybercriminals. Preventing assaults is still the best strategy, even if users have access to a wide range of defences.

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