Common Security Threats in Computer Networks

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Security issues faced by computer networks are massive. Computer networks are prone to facing several advanced problems that can force a shutdown, however, let’s take a quick look at the most common security threats in computer networks.

Common Security Threats in Computer Networks

Computer Virus

There is arguably no one in the world that can lay claim to the fact that they don’t know what a virus is. It is a plague that has affected several personal computers, as well as computer networks. Especially if you make use of the internet, viruses are the easiest way for your computer to get damaged. According to reports, about 33% of household computers get affected by malware of one type or the other.

Viruses are simply software that spread across a computer network, which goes on to corrupt and destroy data stored on the system. Viruses are known to find their way into the computer network, which goes on to corrupt and destroy data stored on the system. Viruses are known to find their way into the computer system, either through email attachments, or are downloaded mistakenly. They can also find their way into the systems via USB, or other cables connected to another device.

Rogue security software

This is a new technique with which scammers and digital hackers find their way into the computer system. The system of hacking takes advantage of people’s fear of viruses. They offer virus solutions, and once you accept the offer, it leads to your system being compromised. They either tell you that your system is infected with a virus, or you should pay for a tool to protect your system. Either way, it’s only a trick to disrupt the functioning of your system.

Trojan horse

Remember the case of the Trojan horse in Troy? This is the concept represented here. It is simply a situation in which malware hides behind legitimate software, to find its way into the system. In fact, this may come in as an email from people you know. Once you click on the attachment, the malware finds its way into your computer.

Once this virus finds its way into your computer, it can save your password by logging the various keystrokes. It can also compromise your webcam, or cart away a copy of sensitive data stored on the system.


This process is similar to that of the Trojan horse. It is a social engineering method, which has the ultimate goal of collecting passwords, usernames, and credit card numbers. The software comes in the form of legitimate emails, but when downloaded to the computer, they are automatically installed. Read our in-depth article about Phishing.

DOS and DDOS attack

DOS means Denial of Service, while DDOS means Distributed Denial of Service. DOS is such that, a particular server-based website is attacked simultaneously by traffic from a particular computer. This causes the website server to experience downtime, as it becomes overloaded. It simply works by a single computer IP loading out different packets onto a particular web address, rather than a single packet. This system of attack can easily be traced, and intercepted, hence, there is the evolution of DDOS.

In the case of DDOS, rather than a single computer being used, it makes use of different computers, which could number from just 2 to thousands. This is more difficult to stop and more lethal.


Rootkit is also a common security threat in computer networks. This is a combination of software tools that can grant a user administration-level access over a particular network. Once this access is secured, the malware situated in the collection carries out various compromising activities on the computer or network. In this collection, there are key loggers, password stealers, and antivirus disablers. 

Rootkits have a basic way of functioning, just like the Trojan horse security threat. It comes with legitimate software, which requires changes to your OS. Once this installation is done, the rootkit installs itself and awaits activation from the hacker.

SQL Injection attack

Storage servers for websites and apps mainly use SQL. To compromise this system, there is the evolution of SQL injection attacks. These attacks are designed to target applications that make use of data. Any loophole found in the systems on which such application is hosted is exploited. This is one of the most dreaded threats to computer systems in recent times.

Man-in-the-middle attacks

This is a sort of network compromise, in which the hacker can listen in on users. If there are two targets, the hackers are able to eavesdrop on the communication line between both. These conversations normally should be private and/or encrypted, however, this breaches that.

Resume of Common Security Threats in Computer Networks

  • Computer Virus
  • Rogue security software
  • Trojan horse
  • Phishing
  • DOS and DDOS attack
  • Rootkit
  • SQL Injection attack
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks


  • Computer Networking: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning the Basics of Network Security, by Benjamin Walker