Man in the middle attack - MITM
What is a man-in-the-middle attack?
A Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack is a type of cyber attack where an attacker intercepts and manipulates communication between two parties. The attacker positions themselves between the two parties, allowing them to eavesdrop on their conversation and even modify or alter the exchanged information without either party being aware.
MitM attacks can occur in various forms, including:
MitM attacks are often used to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials and financial data, or to spread malware. They can also be used to perform other types of attacks, such as phishing or denial of service (DoS) attacks.
To protect against MitM attacks, it's important to use encryption and secure communication protocols, such as SSL/TLS, and to verify the authenticity of websites and network connections. Additionally, using a virtual private network (VPN) can provide an added layer of protection, as it encrypts all internet traffic and makes it more difficult for an attacker to intercept communication.
A simple example of a man-in-the-middle attack
Think of a man-in-the-middle attack like a secret spy who intercepts messages between two friends. Imagine that two friends, Alice and Bob, want to send secret messages to each other. They want to make sure that only each other can read the messages and no one else. However, a secret spy, who is in the middle of their communication, intercepts their messages and secretly reads them. The spy can also change the messages and send false information to one of the friends, pretending to be the other friend. This is what a man-in-the-middle attack does – it intercepts communication between two devices and allows the attacker to see and potentially modify the information being transmitted. Just like how the secret spy can cause confusion and problems between the two friends, a man-in-the-middle attack can cause problems and harm to the communication between the two devices.
Common examples of man-in-the-middle attacks
SSL Strip Attack: An SSL strip attack is a type of man-in-the-middle attack that targets encrypted web communications. The attacker intercepts the encrypted communication and replaces it with an unencrypted version, which allows them to see and modify the information being transmitted.
ARP Spoofing Attack: ARP spoofing is a type of man-in-the-middle attack that targets a local network. The attacker intercepts and redirects network traffic by tricking the network devices into believing that the attacker's device is the legitimate gateway to the network. This allows the attacker to see and modify the network traffic.
Wi-Fi Eavesdropping Attack: A Wi-Fi eavesdropping attack is a type of man-in-the-middle attack that targets wireless networks. The attacker intercepts the communication between the wireless device and the wireless access point, allowing them to see and potentially modify the information being transmitted. Wi-Fi eavesdropping attacks are often carried out using a rogue access point or a software-defined radio.