Out of the Box Solutions Blog

Understanding the Dangers of a Man-in-the-Middle Attack

Understanding the Dangers of a Man-in-the-Middle Attack

Have you ever played the telephone game? One person in a group whispers a phrase to another, who then passes it to another, and the fun is had when the group shares what they heard and how the message was garbled along the way. In many ways, this activity is similar to a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack - although the attack is a lot less fun than the game.

How a Man-in-the-Middle Attack Works

In its most basic form, a MitM attack works by the hacker placing themselves in the connection between two parties and interacting with the data sent back and forth. In doing so, a hacker can either take the information for themselves before passing it along, or they could potentially alter the data before it reaches its intended destination (or even change the destination, if it serves their purposes). This allows a hacker to accomplish any number of shady goals.

What’s worse, these attacks can be incredibly difficult to spot if the attacker is only observing, or is actively hiding their activities by re-encrypting intercepted traffic before sending it to its original destination.

There are quite a few methods that a hacker can use to successfully implement a MitM attack.

Man-in-the-Middle Methods

There are a variety of ways that a MitM attack can be staged. Some attackers will interfere with the actual, legitimate network connection between two parties, while others will create their own fraudulent networks that are under their control. An attacker’s modus operandi can vary from another’s as well. Some will utilize SSL stripping, where they will establish a secure connection with a server, but their connection to the user won’t be, allowing them to see the information the user sends without issue. Some MitM attacks, known as Evil Twin attacks, leverage impersonated Wi-Fi access points that are controlled by the hacker. Leveraging an Evil Twin attack gives the hacker access to all information sent by a user. Attackers can leverage the Internet’s routing protocols against a user, drawing in victims through means like DNS spoofing.

If a MitM attack is being used for a particular motive, like illegitimate financial gain, an attacker could intercept a user’s money transfer and change its destination or the total funds being transferred.

Of course, users aren’t safe on mobile, either. There are MitM exploit kits specifically designed to hijack poorly secured updates, as many mobile updates are, to install malware on devices. MitM attacks can even be launched through fraudulent cell towers, known as stingrays, that can be purchased on the Dark Web.

What’s worse, these attacks often don’t require the attention of the attacker. MitM attacks are easily automated - so while they aren’t quite as common as phishing attacks or ransomware are, they are still a viable threat.

What You Can Do To Minimize Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

When all is said and done, encrypting your data is still the best way to protect your information, despite flaws in these protocols being discovered on occasion. It also helps to avoid open Wi-Fi connections, so make sure your staff knows to avoid these easily spoofed devices.

One of the best ways to prevent a MitM attack from being successful is to ensure that your data is properly encrypted before transit. Using a Virtual Private Network can help you to do so.

If you would like assistance in setting up a VPN solution for your business, or with any other IT-related needs, reach out to the professionals at Out of the Box Solutions. Call 800-750-4OBS (4627) today.

Tip of the Week: 5 Key OneNote Tips
How Working with a Managed Service Provider Helps ...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, June 24 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Best Practices Technology Business Computing Network Security Productivity User Tips Privacy Efficiency Communication Data Malware Google Internet Microsoft Tech Term Smartphones Mobile Device Hardware Innovation Windows 10 Hackers IT Support Ransomware Android Email Cybersecurity Managed IT Services Browser Network Mobile Devices Passwords Small Business Business Cloud Business Management Communications Users Collaboration Software IT Services Applications Outsourced IT Saving Money Workplace Tips Data Backup Social Media Wi-Fi Employer-Employee Relationship Information Data recovery Internet of Things Wireless VoIp Holiday Smartphone Apps Bandwidth Backup Managed IT services Business Intelligence Computer Managed Service Blockchain Hosted Solutions Gmail Networking Marketing Gadgets Value Microsoft Office Cloud Computing Patch Management Remote Computing Healthcare Voice over Internet Protocol Office Virtualization Mobility VPN Office 365 Data Security BDR Net Neutrality G Suite Data Management Cortana Compliance Computers Telephony Save Money Tech Terms Remote Monitoring and Management Automation Connectivity Miscellaneous Paperless Office Access Control Company Culture Upgrade Artificial Intelligence Facebook Medical IT Analytics Virtual Assistant Password Managed IT Service Chrome Cost Management Wireless Charging Router Vulnerability Employees Machine Learning Error instant Messaging Twitter Online Shopping BYOD Excel SaaS Streaming Media Troubleshooting Health Database Government PowerPoint Windows Server 2008 R2 Spam Authorization Chrome OS Environment IT Management Websites Internet Explorer Spyware Solid State Drive Vulnerabilities Inventory Unified Communications Telecommuting Plug-In Wireless Internet Server Management Knowledge GDPR Backup and Disaster Recovery Downloads Big Data Tip of the week Update Cybercrime WannaCry Training Sports Edge Taskbar Virus Content Filtering e-waste Server Phishing Safety Threat HP Hard Disk Drive Comparison Touchscreen Cryptocurrency Data Protection RAM Settings Proactive IT Help Desk HIPAA Personal Information Hard Drives Trends User Tip Outlook Tactics Security Cameras National Security Antivirus Human Resources disposal Bring Your Own Device Data Breach Printing Document Management Video Telecommute Specifications Microsoft Office 365 Windows 7 Mobile Security Microsoft Teams IT budget Workers Business Continuity Hard Drive Voice over IP Storage E-Commerce SSD A.I. Physical Security Profitability Reporting Word Staff Employee-Employer Relationship Hybrid Cloud Lead Generation Network Attached Storage Sales Dongle Paper Customer Service Time Management Operating System Battery Millennials Maintenance Processors Dark Web Payment Movies eCommerce Laptop Amazon Eliminating Downtime Wearables Technology Tips Electronic Health Records Cables Tablet Ink Digital OneNote Data loss Conferencing Authentication Managing Stress Business Technology Analysis Certification Quick Tips Regulation Disaster Recovery Alert Windows Updates Printers