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Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: A Brief Overview

  • Introduction

The interception of information is quite a serious security threat. Whenever you pass information between several parties on the internet, a third party listening in can pose serious risks to the integrity of your communication. Hackers have also been known to piggyback connections and tap communication taking place in real-time if they have physical access to your networking room or the maintenance section of the building. Man-in-the-middle attacks are a common type of cyberattack that hackers are known to carry out, and it will be rare to find a hacker without this type of attack in their toolset. These attacks are also very successful on connections that have not been encrypted, which means that even when you are connecting to a resource on the internet, you must check for the encryption state of your connection before proceeding. Insecure connections are more prone to these attacks, and anything on your current connection will be visible to hackers and third parties, such as your internet service provider. Even when using a VPN, weak encryption can get in the way of security. As such, you will be unable to safeguard the privacy of your internet connection, and any activity you do online will not be secure as you would want.

  • MITM Attacks

Man-in-the-middle attacks are a form of a cyberattack involving joining a network connection to intercept the information being passed along the network. A typical attack involves taking over network resources which might be wireless or wired. Still, in either case, determined hackers will ensure they carry all the tools and equipment they might require for the undertaking. Hackers that are patient enough will also be willing to wait to break your wireless network password and boost the signal so they can carry out the rest of the attack safely away from your home. Once the hackers have taken over the network connection, they can listen in on all the data moving through your particular connection. They will see all this in the form of a massive data structure, but with the tools that most hackers tend to have installed on their setups, they can easily make out what is taking place on your connection and what information is being passed in your current session.

Even physical network connections can be hijacked by hackers ready and willing to take over and pose as security personnel or even the IT maintenance guys to fool your defenses. Some will claim to be doing repairs or network checks and, once they have avoided suspicion, will continue to take over your physical network and plant a wireless transmitter and booster, which can then be applied in carrying out a cyberattack on your infrastructure from a much safer distance away from your residence. Such attacks are easy to detect in most companies and on-premises and can be easily thwarted before they can grow another ugly head. Hackers will escalate privileges to try and gather sensitive information. Whenever they have gained the trust of their unsuspecting victims, they will ask for innocent information or help. However, the hackers will then use the perceived trust earned to gain more information or favors like resetting passwords, making it easier for them to get past your information system and network defenses. Hackers have been known to use different methods to gain information about their victims and use the same information in a manner intended to gain unauthorized access to information systems and other applications and software. Interception of information will also be a lot easier when they have a party on the inside helping them. Most of the time, your unsuspecting customer support representatives will be the weak point and the attack vector the attackers will use. Safeguarding information is also easier with networks secured in multiple places and the network traffic filtered at multiple points in the network. This ensures that the entire network is safer and easier to pass confidential communications in addition to sustaining communication and information access such as on websites, web applications, or mobile applications. Man-in-the-middle attacks no longer need to be a concern for you if you have taken measures to keep your information safe at all stages of the communication and interaction process.

  • How to Prevent Such Attacks

One of the recommended ways to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks is by using proxies for your network connection. the power of proxies to hide your network traffic source means you’ll easily use them to prevent interception of information that is passing on your network. Additionally, using proxies means installing more network monitoring tools and security applications at the proxy, which will, in turn, filter the traffic and prevent unwanted malware and other digital elements from landing on your device.

Another method that you can use to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks is encrypting the network connections you use to pass information between two parties. The use of encryption is a powerful method of making information secure. Whenever you have encryption in place for all networked resources in your office building, for instance, you can easily prevent these attacks and ensure that there is never any interception of information passing on your network and residing on your digital infrastructure. Avoiding the interception of information in the first place makes networks more secure. Man-in-the-middle attacks can easily be avoided by ensuring that your network cannot be snooped in or intercepted by parties that do not have the appropriate validation or verification tokens to access your network resources. Putting a password on your wireless networks, for instance, will work to ensure that your information is safe and third parties will not be able to view the information that is passing on your networks, whether wired or wireless.

  • Conclusion

Cybersecurity concerns are increasing, and interception is one of the greatest challenges people have to deal with. Man-in-the-middle attacks are designed to intercept information. Measures such as encryption work to prevent these attacks from being effective in the first place. Encryption turns information into gibberish that hackers will not understand, making it much safer for the parties involved in digital communication. It also makes it easier to get past the hackers without them knowing what information is being passed between any given parties on a network. Man-in-the-middle attacks should never be a concern if your network has the required safety measures and digital safeguards.