May 18, 2015

A sniffer attack involves capturing, inspecting, decoding and interpreting the network packets and information exchanges on a TCP/IP network. It aims at stealing unencrypted information, such as user IDs, passwords, email text, transferred files, credit card numbers, network details etc. It is also referred as a passive cyber-threat as the attacker is usually invisible and difficult to detect on the network.

Types Of Sniffer Attacks

  • LAN Sniffing: In this, the sniffer software is installed on the internal LAN to scan the entire network exhaustively. This helps to provide further information such as server inventory, live hosts, open ports etc. Once all the details are gathered, the hacker may launch a port-specific attack.
  • Protocol Sniffing: This method involves creating separate sniffers to carry out attacks on different network protocols. For instance, if a hacker sees UDP packets in a network, a separate sniffer is started to capture information.
  • ARP Sniffing: The hackers steal all the important information related to the IP addresses and its associated MAC addresses. This data is further used to initiate packet spoofing attacks, ARP poisoning attacks or exploit vulnerabilities in the network router.
  • TCP Session Sniffing: This is a basic sniffer attack in which the hackers get hold of the traffic between the source and destination IP address. They target details like service types, port numbers and TCP sequence numbers to create and control a fabricated TCP session.
  • Web Password Sniffing: In these sniffer attacks, the hackers penetrate the HTTP sessions that do not use secure encryption. Following this, the user IDs and passwords can be stolen and used for malicious purposes.

Tips To Protect Against Sniffer Attacks

  • Enable a WPA or WPA2 encryption for your router. Also, make sure you change its default password to limit access to your network. Use a long and secure password consisting of numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters and symbols.
  • Use MAC filtering on your network. You must allow only trusted MAC addresses to access your private VPN, thus, reducing the chances of a sniffer spying on the network.
  • Ensure that the important sites you use, particularly those that involve making financial transactions, have SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. If a site is SSL enabled, it will have a URL beginning with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

We, at Centex Technologies, can assess and implement advanced cybersecurity measures in your organization. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.