MITM (Man-in-the-Middle) Attacks: Ultimate Safety Instructions
Today, lots of our daily activities, be it business or personal, are done online. That is why security issues are coming to the fore, and for a good reason. Researching the best proxy services and VPN providers has long been one of the most widely accepted solutions when it comes to cybersecurity.
Let’s take businesses, for instance: they are to deal with large quantities of sensitive data, the common threat to which is often a MITM – man-in-the-middle attack. Once getting in the middle of two people sharing files or discussing sensitive matters, this type of cyber attack can compromise tons of data as well as private conversations. Thus, let’s find out how to prevent, detect, and remove MITM attacks.
What is a Man-in-the-Middle Attack?
In brief, it is a widely spread type of cybersecurity attack allowing hackers to eavesdrop on the interconnection between two targets. The attack usually happens between two reasonably communicating hosts, providing the attacker with a possibility to “follow” a dialogue they normally should not be able to “listen” to.
Types of Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
The Address Resolution Protocol is applied to tackle IPs to physical Media Access Control (MAC) addresses in a LAN. Once a host requires to contact another host with a particular IP address, it consults the ARP cache to discover the MAC address associated with that IP. In the case of an unknown address, it requests the Media Access Control address of the device with the IP.
A hacker, in an attempt to present as another host, can reply to those requests they must not be replying to with its own Media Access Control address. By applying some specifically placed packets, a hacker can snoop around the personal traffic between two hosts, and, from that traffic, they can extract valuable information.
DNS resolves domain names to IPs just like ARP resolves IPs to Media Access Control addresses on a local area network. By a DNS spoofing attack, the hacker tries to apply perverse DNS cache data to a host who is seeking to access another host with their domain name. This results in the victim sharing sensitive data with a malevolent host while still thinking about sending it to a proven and reliable source. Having already spoofed an IP, it could be much easier for the attacker to spoof DNS by resolving a DNS server address to the hacker’s one.
Rogue Access Point
Those devices that are equipped with wireless cards usually attempt to auto-connect to some access points with the strongest signals. Hackers can establish their own wireless access points and stalk the nearest devices to join their domain. In such a way, the victim’s network traffic can be compromised by the attacker. Particular risk entails the fact that to do this, a hacker does not necessarily have to be on a trusted network. A close enough physical proximity is all they need in this case.
Man-in-the-Middle Attack Prevention
To prevent man-in-the-middle attacks in business enterprises, using an HTTP(S) proxy, which entails SSL encryption, could be highly productive. It enables employees to connect through such a proxy, be it on a computer or a mobile device, and be sure about security.
Provided there might be many employees dealing with confidential and sensitive information, investing in a rotating proxy could be a great solution. A rotating proxy ensures an unused IP address as often as all the employees might need. Since it’s always changing, such a solution makes it much harder for MITM attackers to track your data and peg it to your IP address.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN routes your internet traffic through different nodes, enabling you to spoof your IP and keep your real location hidden. When it comes to MITM attacks, the main advantage of using a VPN is that it prevents WiFi eavesdropping. Applying a VPN while on public WiFi would make it impossible for the ISP to execute a MITM attack since your data will be encrypted and your location spoofed.
A VPN client encrypts your internet traffic through AES, which encrypts and then decrypts your data. Therefore, a VPN is a great option in case of an attacker targets precisely you. However, you might still be open to illegible attacks because as soon as the information passes from the VPN server to its ultimate destination, it does become vulnerable. And yet, the good news is that NordVPN, in particular, applies AES encryption standards with 256-bit keys, meaning it is impossible to decrypt.
Access Points’ Solid WAP/WEP Encryption
If your wireless access points have a solid encryption mechanism on, unwelcome users will not be able to join your network simply because they are somewhere nearby. While a poor encryption mechanism might easily let a hacker violate the way into a network and start MITM attacking.
Public Key Pair Based Authorization
As a rule, MITM attacks entail spoofing this or that. Public key pair-based authorization – RSA, for example – could be applied in different strata of the stack to help control whether or not the things you are interacting with are indeed the things you wish to be interacting with.
Speaking about security in general, MITM attacks pose an extremely serious threat. In cases when protection measures are not undertaken, such attacks are very easy to execute and rather hard to detect. Given the level of damage that using your sensitive information or business-related data could deliver, implementing all the preventive measures is crucial.