What is a Man in the Middle Attack (MitM)?
This Can Be Used To Hijack Your Browser And Capture Your Sensitive Data!
A man-in-the-middle Man-in-the-middle attack: When a fraudster secretly intercepts and possibly alters messages between two parties who believe they are securely communicating with each other. (MitM) attack is a general term for when a cybercriminal positions himself in a conversation between a user and an application or website – either to eavesdrop or to impersonate one of the entities, making it appear as if a normal exchange of information is underway, such as between the user’s browser and a website.
The goal of an attack is to steal personal information, such as login credentials, account details, or credit card numbers.
Targets are typically the users of financial applications Applications or Apps
An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc.
Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free.
Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware.
Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing., bank websites, SaaS business sites, e-commerce sites, or other websites where logging in is required. Banking websites are a primary target.
Information obtained during an attack could be used for many purposes, including identity theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources., unapproved fund transfers, or an illicit Illicit means something that is not legally permitted or authorized under the law; unlicensed; unlawful. It can also mean disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons. password change (account takeover Account Takeover (ATO) are the unauthorized access of a user’s account in order to steal identity credentials, execute a fraudulent transaction or engage in varying types of abuse.).
Additionally, it can be used to gain access for a more advanced cyber attack, such as for a data breach Whenever private information is seen by someone who should not have access, this is known as data exposure. It may also sometimes be referred to as a data leak or data breach. It might happen by accident or be caused by hackers who do it to cause harm to the individual or organization involved. It can be especially damaging to companies that store the credit card details and personal information of their customers..
Broadly speaking, a MitM attack is an equivalent of a mailman opening your bank statement, writing down your account details, and then resealing the envelope and delivering it to your door.
How Do Man In The Middle Attacks Work?
The most common way of doing this is a passive attack where the cybercriminal sets up a free, malicious WiFi hotspot available to the public.
These are typically named to fool their victims. They may be named in a way that corresponds to their location, but they typically aren’t password protected. Once a victim connects to such a hotspot, the hacker A computer hacker is a computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term hacker has become associated in popular culture with a security hacker – someone who utilizes their technical know-how of bugs or exploits to break into computer systems and access data which would otherwise be unavailable to them – hacking can also be utilized by legitimate figures in legal situations. For example, law enforcement agencies sometimes use hacking techniques in order to collect evidence on criminals and other malicious actors. This could include using anonymity tools (such as a VPN, or the dark web) to mask their identities online, posing as criminals themselves. Likewise, covert world agencies can employ hacking techniques in the legal conduct of their work. Oppositely, hacking and cyber-attacks are used extra- and illegally by law enforcement and security agencies (conducting warrantless activities), and employed by State actors as a weapon of both legal and illegal warfare. gains full visibility to any online data exchange and may be able to include malware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. to install on the victim’s device.
Insecure networks remain a serious mobile device threat. Attackers can intercept traffic through man-in-the- middle (MitM) attacks, or lure anyone into using rogue Wi-Fi hotspots or access points.
Although the risks of public Wi-Fi are becoming well known, convenience trumps policy—even common sense— for many users. Some organizations are trying to prevent this by implementing Wi-Fi-specific policies, but inevitably, rules will be broken.
One of the most dangerous network threats is the interception of traffic, or MitM. This is often done through rogue access points, which take advantage of familiar and trusted public Wi-Fi names (SSIDs). Users may see the name of a legitimate company or brand and connect to it without a second thought.
While some rogue hotspot names are obviously misspelled (e.g., Starbuckz), many look perfectly legitimate. And users might have the access point already stored in their device, causing it to connect automatically.
That might sound like something out of a spy movie, but it’s more prevalent than SQL injection (SQLi)-type attacks, and almost as common as phishing—but it gets far less press; maybe it needs a better agent?
Seventy-two percent of organizations said they’re concerned about MitM attacks. Of those, 23% don’t feel prepared. Not to mention the public which has very little idea that this is a thing!
The Dangers of Wi-Fi
Rogue or insecure hotspots
Not all access points can be trusted—even those carrying the name of a trusted business or brand. The risk of insecure hotspots may be greater than companies realize. Twenty percent of organizations that suffered a mobile compromise said that a rogue/insecure Wi-Fi hotspot was involved.
According to Wandera, employees connect to an average of 24 Wi-Fi hotspots per week. It also found that 7% of devices encounter a hotspot that presents a low-to-medium severity risk, and 2% encounter one rated as a high risk—one known to be affected by MitM, or a protocol attack like SSL Secure Socket Layer (SSL) - SSL technology secretly encodes information that is sent over the Internet between your computer and the bank, helping to ensure that the information remains confidential. Strip.36
Overall, the average mobile device connects to two to three insecure Wi-Fi hotspots per day. The most common settings are retail, hospitality, and transportation hubs, including airports.
Man In The Middle Attack Prevention
Blocking Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• these attacks requires several practical steps on the part of users, as well as a combination of encryption and verification methods for their applications.
FOR USERS, THIS MEANS:
- Avoid WiFi connections that aren’t password protected.
- Pay attention to browser notifications reporting a website as being unsecured (not HTTPS).
- Log out of a secure application when not in use.
- Not using public WiFi networks (such as coffee shops, hotels, and airports) when conducting sensitive transactions.
- Report suspicious WiFi to the local business to see if they are aware of it.