There are a lot of types of cyber security attacks out there and MITM is one of the most common. Known as a Man-In-The-Middle attack, there are different types to be aware of and each poses its own issues.
So, what exactly is an MITM attack and how can you prevent them? Read on to find out.
What Is an MITM Attack?
An MITM attack is where a fraudster places themselves between a computer and server. From there, they can basically eavesdrop on what is being shared. Some attackers can also modify the information.
One of the stand-out features of an MITM attack is that you don’t even know it’s happening. It’s also worth being aware that there are different types of MITM attacks you can fall victim to.
The Different Types of Attacks
An MITM attack can occur in different ways. The most common types include:
- IP spoofing
- HTTPS spoofing
- Email hijacking
- Wi-Fi eavesdropping
Your IP address is a number that has been assigned to your device depending upon your location. Hackers can spoof an IP address, making it appear as though you are interacting with a website or person you are trying to communicate with. They can also do the same with HTPPS addresses. They make small tweaks to the address, such as using lower case letters where capitals should be, etc.
Email hijacking is also common, involving victims being sent spoof emails. These are often addressed from banks or other leading organizations. They tell you to provide personal information which they will then use to log in to your bank account.
Finally, Wi-Fi eavesdropping aims to steal information about a victim’s internet activity. With this type of attack, the fraudster actually creates their own internet hotspot. As soon as someone connects, they can then monitor which sites are used, as well as capture login information.
These are some of the most important types of MITM attacks you need to be aware of.
How Do They Work?
The majority of MITM attacks occur through public networks. This is because these are much easier to hack. The attacker needs to compromise the router. This is typically done by using tools to scan for vulnerabilities and flaws. They then need to intercept as well as decrypt the transmitted data. This part can be done using a wide variety of techniques such as packet injections, sniffing and session hijacking.
It’s worth researching each of these techniques so you can have a better understanding of how they all work.
Now that we’ve covered what an MITM attack is and a basic idea of how they work, how can you defend yourself against these attacks? The simple answer is to avoid public networks. However, you can also use a VPN, make sure you’re only visiting legitimate websites and avoid clicking on any links from anyone you don’t fully trust.
MITM attacks are common and they can be tricky to spot. The above are just some of the main things you should know about these attacks in order to defend yourself.