In an untargeted attack, where the bad actors are trying to break into as many devices or systems as possible, they generally look for vulnerabilities in software code that will enable them to gain access without being detected or blocked. Or, they might employ a phishing attack, emailing large numbers of people with socially engineered messages crafted to entice recipients to click a link that will download malicious code.
In a targeted attack, the threat actors are going after a specific organization, and the methods used vary depending on the attack's objectives. The hacktivist group Anonymous, for example, was suspected in a 2020 distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the Minneapolis Police Department website after a Black man died while being arrested by Minneapolis officers. Hackers also use spear-phishing campaigns in a targeted attack, crafting emails to specific individuals who, if they click included links, would download malicious software designed to subvert the organization's technology or the sensitive data it holds. 2b1af7f3a8