May 30, 2015

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack occurs when an unauthorized user attempts to actively monitor, capture and control the information transmitted between the source and destination computer. The attack may be carried out to simply gain access to the encrypted/unencrypted information or empower the hacker to modify the message before passing it further.

How Does A Man-In-The-Middle Attack Works?

The man-in-the-middle attack is performed when the attacker gains complete control over the networking router along a normal flow of traffic. The cybercriminal, in most cases, is in the same broadcast domain as the victim. For example, a TCP connection exists between the server and client in an HTTP session. The MITM splits the link into two – one between the server and attacker and other between the victim and attacker. By interrupting the TCP connection, the attacker decodes, alters and inserts fake data into the communication. A man-in-the-middle attack aims to exploit the weaknesses in the communication protocol, convincing the source network to divert traffic through the attacker’s router.

Tips To Prevent Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

  • Pay Attention To Certificate Warnings: A security certificate warning appearing for a website might indicate a serious problem. If the certificate doesn’t match with the server, you might be communicating with a malicious server carrying out a man-in-the-middle attack. Thus, you must not visit such websites, specifically if it involves entering important information like user names, passwords, bank account details etc.
  • Check for HTTPS Encryption: When connecting to sites that process financial transactions such as online shopping or banking, make sure that the session has an HTTPS encryption. When communicating over HTTPS, your web browser checks identity certificates to confirm the credibility of the servers you are connecting to, thus, reducing the possibility of a phishing server.
  • Be Careful While Using Wi-Fi Networks: Avoid doing any online transaction or sharing sensitive information if you are using a public Wi-Fi network. Be more alert if you see certificate warnings and websites without HTTPS encryption on such networks. Always try to use a private virtual private network (VPN) to create a secure connection to a trusted server.
  • Install Anti-Virus Software: Installing and regularly updating anti-virus software can help you defend against man-in-the-middle attacks that involve infecting your computer with a malware.

We, at Centex Technologies provide the most advanced cyber security solutions for businesses. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.