Different Types of Attacks in Cryptography and Network Security

Mariah | April 27th, 2020 | Forensics

Cryptography is a technique that involves concealing the data to be transmitted so that only the receiver can look at it. This is often done by encrypting the data to be sent from the sender’s end and decryption the data at the receiver’s end.

In cryptography, the main motive of the attacker is to interrupt the confidentiality and integrity of the file. There are several types of attacks in cryptography and network security. These attacks are developed with different kinds of crypto-systems with variable levels of effectiveness. Some are simple to understand whereas others could need a complicated degree in coding algorithms and mathematics to understand. In this blog, we’ll discuss different types of email threats and attacks in network security

Types of Attacks in Cryptography and Network Security

There are two types of attacks Passive attacks and Active attacks in information security.

Passive Attacks

These attacks are not very dangerous as they do not cause any modification to the data. These attacks are generally done to secretly listen and monitor the communication of other parties. Passive attacks are very difficult to detect because these attacks do not change the information of the data.
There are two types of passive attacks in cryptography and network security: Traffic analysis and Release of Message content

  • Traffic Analysis: In this attack, an attacker tries to predict the nature of communication by using information. The information such as analyzing traffic, identify communication hosts, and frequency of messages.


  • Release of Message content: It is similar to hearing a telephone conversation between two users. In this attack, the attacker can monitor the content of the transmitted data such as email messages, etc.

Active Attacks

These are some types of attacks in cryptography and network security that can cause modification to the data. These are often difficult to perform but these attacks are very powerful attacks. It is possible to detect these types of attacks.
Several types of active attacks in cryptography and network security:

  • Brute-Force Attack: A brute-force attack is a very simple attack. An attacker uses a list of passwords and executes such operation in which the system tries every password from the list to login. If it recognizes the right password, the attacker gain access to the victim’s account, and if not then the attacker fails to gain access.

Brute-Force Attack

  • Man-in-the-Middle Attack: In this, the attacker can see and probably change the communications between two parties who believe that they are communicating with each other. In this attack, the attacker makes an independent connection with the victim and will see or broadcast the messages between them. Further, he can use the revealed information for some illegal activities.

Man-in-the-Middle Attack

  • Replay Attack: A replay attack is one of the types of attacks in cryptography and network security. In this scenario. During this attack, the attacker captures each piece of traffic between two parties and re-transmits it constantly. An attacker can easily fool the participants by replaying the transactions and participants think that they have completed the operation.

Replay Attack


  • Known Plain Text Attack: This attack is a standard attack for breaking ciphers and was used throughout the second warfare. In the known-plain text attack, the attacker is aware of the number of plain texts and also the cipher text. Then, the attacker will figure the ‘key’ by reverse engineering and will decipher the alternative messages that use an equivalent ‘key’ and algorithm. The ‘known-plain text’ attack was effective against straightforward ciphers like the ‘substitution cipher’.

Known Plain Text Attack

  • Differential Crypt-Analysis: This  types of attacks in cryptography and network security is against block algorithms like DES, AES, etc. The first aim of this attack, like alternative attacks, is to find the ‘key’. The attacker checks numerous messages of plain text into their converted cipher text. The attacker observes the changes type from plain text to the cipher text and deduces the key. This is a kind of ‘chosen-plain text’ attack since the attacker chooses the plain text to look at the transformation.

Differential Crypt-Analysis

  • Dictionary Attack: This attack is a very simple attack that involves the compiling of the dictionary. The attacker makes a dictionary of cipher texts and their corresponding plain texts. When the attacker gets the cipher text then with the help of the dictionary, the attacker tries to find the corresponding plain text.

Dictionary Attack

  • Side-Channel Attacks: A side-channel attack is another security attack in cryptography that have causeless side effects of cryptographic operations. It is used to collect data through the plain-text, power consumption, sound, any secret key being processed, etc. in the victim’s PC or Laptop. Moreover, the time takes by the system to perform these operations is used to help the attacker to verify the secret key.

Side-Channel Attacks


In cybercrimes, there are several types of attacks in cryptography and network security that attackers have found to defeat cryptosystems. In this blog, we have discussed some attacks such as the brute-force attack, man-in-the-middle attack, replay attack, side-channel attack, known-plaintext attack, differential cryptanalysis, and dictionary attack. It’s necessary that you just understand the threats exposed by numerous cryptologic attacks to reduce the risks expose to your systems.