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Man-in-the-Middle Cyber Attack
September 17, 2020
Man-in-the-Middle Cyber Attack

With a Man-in-the-middle (MITM) cyberattack, a third party is able to interrupt communication between and the victim and the intended receiver. This type of attack comes in many different forms that all work to deceive the victim, find vulnerabilities in cloud security, and obtain sensitive information that can then be exploited. Learn more about how this type of attack can look and work and steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.

Man-in-the-Middle Proximity Attack

In this scenario, a cybercriminal will begin by trying to find a gap in cloud security that will allow them to intercept communications. Oftentimes, they will begin by scanning a certain area for a Wi-Fi router that hasn’t been secured or lacks strong security. A weak password can be enough of a vulnerability to allow hackers to gain access. This strategy requires the hacker to be physically nearby in order to scan devices.

Once the hacker is able to locate an entry point, they will use different types of tools and malware to collect the victim’s data. This can include access to login details, personal data, and banking information. Even if this information is encrypted, the hacker can still use decryption methods to circumvent this protection.

MITM Browser Attack

There are also MITM attacks that don’t require close proximity. For example, a hacker can use phishing to send an email that appears to come from a legitimate and trustworthy source. Once the victim clicks on a link, malware can instantly be installed on their device. Another method is to use a link to send the user to a clone site that may look just like their usual banking website. They will then be prompted to enter their credentials and the attackers can quickly collect this information.

Different Types of MITM Attacks

Ultimately, MITM attacks come in two forms: one that requires proximity and another that uses the browsers to launch an attack. From there, a MITM attack can target different areas of cloud security and network entry points. They may also utilize other types of cyber attacks as part of a comprehensive effort. Here are some of the most common types of MITM cyber attacks:

HTTPS Spoofing

Be sure to look for sites that have HTTPS in the URL and avoid any with an address that starts with just HTTP. The “S” in HTTPS stands for “secure” and indicates that you can trust the site.

IP Spoofing

All devices that connect to the internet are given an IP address that provides a unique identification. Unfortunately, hackers are also able to spoof these addresses and trick users into thinking that they are communicating with a secure device.

DNS Spoofing

As mentioned above, cybercriminals can use clone websites to direct uses to fake websites where they inadvertently share their information with an attacker. Be wary of any links or websites that may seem a little off.

Email Attacks

It is possible for hackers to gain access to your email and create fake communications that appear to come from a trusted institution. You may end up following instructions from a hacker when you think you are dealing with a different authoritative figure.

Wi-Fi- Eavesdropping

Attackers will set up Wi-Fi connections, usually on a public-Wi-Fi hotspot. Once a user connects, the hacker will be able to watch your online activity and gather any login credentials, which can provide access to a wide range of accounts.

How to Prevent MITM Cyber Attacks

Individuals should:

  • Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi connections which can make you vulnerable to attacks.
  • Be on the lookout for phishing emails that have suspicious links.
  • Stay away from websites that don’t have a secure URL address that includes HTTPS.
  • Use different passwords and usernames for different accounts.

Business that want to improve cloud security should:

  • Make sure that employees are using secure passwords.
  • Educate employees about the threat of MITM attacks and steps they can take to help support better cloud security.
  • Constantly update and monitor cloud security to identify any malware that may be collecting sensitive data.

While Man-in-the-Middle or MITM cyber attacks can be more sophisticated than other types of attacks, they rely on known areas of poor cloud security. That means that both individuals and businesses can close the security gaps and take measures to monitor for and prevent MITM attacks. For more information about how cloud security and potential forms of cyber attacks, contact the experts at prancer.