Man-in-the-middle attack: The new cybersecurity threat – YourStory

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Data by Check Point suggests that India saw a 15% surge in cyberattacks in organisations last year with 2,138 weekly attacks per organisation. Whether a small or big business or an individual, hackers target anyone online by taking advantage of network loopholes.

Amongst many types of fraud, there is a new form of cyberattack. Recently, in Mumbai, an international school fell victim to a man-in-the-middle scam. This incident highlights how no organisation, regardless of size or sector, is immune to such malicious activities. It underscores the urgency for heightened cybersecurity measures, not only in India but globally, as cyberattacks evolve in sophistication and frequency. Here is all you need to know about this malicious scam and how to prevent it!

What is a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack?

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack is where the hacker secretly intercepts and possibly alters communication between two parties. This can occur through various modes, such as on public Wi-Fi networks, through malware, or even through compromised hardware. It is a serious security concern that can result in the theft of sensitive information or other malicious activities.

What happens in an MITM attack?


Typically in MITM, the attacker places themselves between the sender and the receiver of the communication. This allows them to monitor the conversation and modify the data being transmitted. Such attacks can be particularly harmful when sensitive information such as login details, financial information, or personal data is exchanged.

A widely used technique for carrying out an MITM (Man-in-the-Middle) attack is by creating fraudulent Wi-Fi networks. The attacker can create fake hotspots that look similar to legitimate ones, which can trick users into connecting to them. Once a user connects to the phoney hotspot, the attacker can intercept all data being transmitted, including sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card details.

Another way to carry out a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack is by using malware. Cybercriminals can infect a victim’s device with malware that enables them to intercept and manipulate communications. Such attacks can occur through phishing emails, malicious websites, or even compromised software or hardware.

Overall, cyber attackers not only steal sensitive data but also manipulate communications to accomplish fraudulent activities, such as redirecting payments or altering account information.

3 Ways to prevent MITM attacks

To protect against MITM attacks, there are several measures individuals and organisations can take. Here are some preventive methods:

Visit safe websites only

It’s crucial to always use secure and encrypted connections when transmitting sensitive data. This includes using HTTPS websites, enabling two-factor authentication, and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks when handling sensitive information.

Keep systems updates

Updating software and devices with the latest security patches, and using reputable antivirus software and firewalls are essential measures to prevent vulnerabilities and detect potential MITM attacks.

Become aware

Individuals and organisations must stay alert and educate themselves on the latest cybersecurity threats, especially MITM attacks.

By taking these proactive measures to protect your data, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to such attacks.

The bottom line

Man-in-the-middle attacks are a major cybersecurity threat, and they can have serious consequences for both individuals and organisations. To protect ourselves from these attacks, it’s important to know how they work and take proactive measures to keep our sensitive information safe and secure online.

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