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Man in the Middle Attack: Understanding the Threat and Securing Your Network

man in the middle attack

Learn about the dangers of man in the middle (MiTM) attacks and how they can compromise your security. Discover effective measures to protect against MiTM attacks and secure your network. Explore Sepio’s patented technology for mitigating risks.

In this article, we shed light on the alarming threat of man in the middle (MiTM) attacks. With real-life examples and scenarios, we explain how hackers intercept communications, manipulate data, and gain unauthorized access. Stay informed about the latest tools used by attackers and discover proactive measures to safeguard your network against these stealthy attacks. Find out how Sepio’s patented technology can help you regain control over your asset risks and fortify your defenses.

Understanding Man in the Middle Attacks

Learn the fundamentals of MiTM attacks and how they exploit vulnerabilities in communication channels. Explore a relatable scenario to illustrate the concept and understand how attackers intercept and modify sensitive information without detection.

Imagine this scenario. You’re texting your friend to arrange a time and place to meet. She says 2pm at your local coffee shop, but when you get there, she isn’t there. Maybe she is that friend who is always late, so you wait, but still nothing. An hour earlier, your friend was sitting at the Italian restaurant you both love and she was waiting for you. Why were you at two different locations at two different times? Well, your conversation got intercepted by a hacker who was able to read your messages and alter them without you knowing. This is what is called a man in the middle (MiTM) attack.

Now, of course you and your childhood friend are not the target of hackers and they don’t really care where you want to meet. The interception is of course, not this simple. However, malicious third parties are using this concept to carry out attacks against organizations or specific individuals. A device is needed to perform the attack and there are a variety of different products available for different purposes.

ATMs as Prime Targets for MiTM Attacks

Discover why ATMs are attractive targets for MiTM hardware attacks. Dive into the details of ATM black box attacks and the use of devices like Raspberry Pi Zero W and GL.iNet to manipulate cash dispensing commands. Gain insights into the evolving techniques used by hackers in this context.

ATMs are prime targets for MiTM hardware attacks thanks to the abundance of cash stored inside of them. A way in which this attack can be carried out is through an ATM black box attack. In this attack, a device (usually containing a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer) will connect between the ATM’s PC and the dispenser. This allows the attacker to send cash dispensing commands to the machine.

MiTM Raspberrypi

This type of attack can be challenging since internal access to the machine is required. Never fear, potential ATM hackers, a simpler way is available and costs only $25 on Amazon (no need for the dark web when it comes to this). This device is known as a GL.iNet and is attached externally to the ATM, but provides the same end result.

MiTM attack IoT cybersecurity rogue devices

But ATMs are such a niche target, so why should you even be reading this? Well, it’s not just ATMs that are the target. You might be, too. And no, not for the purpose of finding out your lunch plans. Hackers might want to gain access to the organization you work in and may use you to do so.

Mitigating MiTM Attacks on Organizations and Individuals

Recognize that MiTM attacks extend beyond ATMs and can target organizations and individuals. Learn about the risks associated with compromising authentication methods, including biometric authentication. Explore the capabilities of devices like BeagleBone board and the hacking tools produced by Hak5, such as Packet Squirrel, LAN Turtle, and Wifi Pineapple.

At this point, you might think that you are protected. Since, in order to access your organization’s devices and network, you need authentication, maybe even biometric authentication. Well, another MiTM attack tool is bypassing this, too. A device known as BeagleBone board is able to circumvent even the most sophisticated forms of biometric authentication like palm-vein scanners.

MiTM attack IoT cybersecurity rogue devices

Hak5 Hacking Tools

There are plenty more devices that can be used for man in the middle hardware attacks. Hak5 is a company that produces a lot of these hacking tools, such as Packet Squirrel and LAN Turtle, and others. These devices, although differing slightly in functionality, both observe network traffic. A more advanced tool, going by the name of Wifi Pineapple, is letting hackers mimic preferred networks and, in turn, gather intelligence.

HAK5 MiTM attack IoT cybersecurity rogue devices

Rogue Devices: Overcoming Existing Security Solutions

Understand how rogue devices play a significant role in MiTM attacks by evading existing security solutions. Discover the importance of Layer 1 visibility and how the lack of it enables these devices to go undetected. Gain awareness of the rising prevalence of hardware-based attacks and the increasing success rates of USB exploitation.

These hardware attack tools, or in other words, Rogue Devices, bypass existing security solutions, such as NAC, EPS, IDS, or IoT Network Security. This is due to a lack of Layer 1 visibility, which means that they go undetected. Hence, in order to evade hardware-based attacks, it is essential to avoid using Rogue Devices. Such awareness is even more crucial as hardware-based attacks occur more frequently, with 37% of threats designed for USB exploitation in 2020, nearly double than in 2019. Further, as USB usage rose by 30% in 2020, attackers are more likely to be successful.

Strengthening Your Defenses: Sepio’s Patented Technology

Introduce Sepio’s patented technology as a solution for mitigating risks associated with MiTM attacks. Explore how Sepio’s expertise and tools can help you gain control over your asset risks, identify known and shadow assets, and prioritize security measures. Learn how Sepio empowers organizations to fortify their defenses against hardware-based attacks.

The threat of man in the middle (MiTM) attacks is pervasive and evolving. By understanding the tactics employed by attackers and staying vigilant, you can take proactive steps to protect your network and sensitive information. Sepio’s patented technology provides a comprehensive solution to mitigate risks, regain control over your assets, and ensure the security of your organization. Take the necessary measures to safeguard against MiTM attacks and maintain the integrity of your network infrastructure. Contact Sepio’s experts to explore how their technology can benefit your organization.

This blog was not meant to scare you, but to make sure that you are more vigilant towards the savvy ways hackers are manipulating you. Who would not want to know about the undetectable, invisible, hidden ways all your information can be obtained by a malicious third party without any way of stopping it? But maybe there is…

See every known and shadow asset. Prioritize and mitigate risks.
Our experts will help you understand how to use Sepio’s patented technology to gain control of your asset risks.

January 25th, 2021