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History Sniffing Cyber Attacks

History Sniffing is an umbrella term that defines different techniques used to monitor the web browser history for diverse purposes including the launch of a cyber attack. Although it is an old trick, the technique is still being used for victimizing internet users. In the recent times, studies have shown a rise in the types and numbers of history sniffing cyber attacks for the sheer ease of launching such attacks.

How Is History Sniffing Cyber Attack Launched?

  • The cyber attackers create fake online advertisement and preload attacker code in this ordinary looking advertizement.
  • The code is embedded with a list of target websites (the websites that hackers want to know if the user has visited).
  • When user clicks on the advertizement, the code starts running and checks the browsing history for target websites.
  • If the user has visited any of the target websites, the program will indicate a match to the hacker.
  • The hackers then redirect the victim to corresponding fake version of the website to cause further damage.

How Are History Sniffing Attacks Used?

The data collected by history sniffing attacks is used as a foundation for other types of cyber attacks by hackers.

  • Phishing: Hackers use history sniffing techniques to find out the financial organization websites visited by the victim. This data is then used to launch customized phishing attacks which automatically match every victim to a fake page of actual financial organization. The victims are tricked into filling their financial details which can be used by hackers to steal money from users’ accounts.
  • Stalking: History sniffing can be used to stalk internet users by keeping an eye on their browsing behavior. Hackers may keep a track of social media pages or locations saved in the browser history. Stalking may cause some serious problems for the victim such as kidnapping, physical damage, assault, etc.
  • Identity Theft: It is common for internet users to save their login details or choose the option to ‘keep Logged In’ on their browser. Hackers can use history sniffing coupled with other malicious code to check the social media profiles logged in on the browser and access these profiles to pose as the user. They can further use these accounts to send unauthorized messages, post fake news, etc.

For more information on history sniffing cyber attacks, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.        

Network Security Threats

A computer network consists of one or two computers that act as nodes and some peripheral devices. Once these devices are electronically connected, they enable the user to share resources, send & receive data over local or world-wide network and store data locally or on cloud. However, there are some security threats that lurk around computer networks and as the number of threats is on constant rise, it becomes necessary to have detailed knowledge about them.

Common Network Security Threats

  1. Viruses & Worms: They are snippets of software that are designed to infect a computer network. Both computer virus and worms are sent as email attachments, downloaded from a website or transmitted through any writable device like thumb drive, hard disk, etc. Once downloaded, they replicate themselves & spread over networked systems. After infecting the system; they send spam, disable security settings, steal personal information or delete data on the hard drive.
  1. Rogue Security Software: It is a malicious software as well as an internet fraud. The software sends a fake warning stating that the security settings of a user’s system are not up-to-date. Once the user is convinced, a scareware is downloaded under the disguise of an antivirus software. The software modifies actual security settings to prevent the user from identifying the attack. It crashes the system & reports the detection of fake malware. However, instead of directly deleting the detected files, the user is prompted to make extra payment for removal of reported virus. The prompts may stop after the payment is made, however the cycle repeats itself after a time gap.
  1. Botnet: They are a network of compromised computers which are controlled by a Command & Control network without the knowledge of computer user. The computers in the network are called bots or zombie computers. They are used to send spams or to initiate DDOS attacks. Also, botnets can be employed for attacking secure systems. Each bot operates at a low attack frequency to evade detection; however, collectively they are capable of performing a brutal attack.
  1. Trojan Horse: It is a malicious software that masks itself as a legitimate program and tricks the user to run it willingly. They are often spread via email or as a false advertizement that requires the user to click on a malicious link. Once the software is downloaded, it can record passwords by tracking keystrokes, hack webcam, steal personal data, etc.
  1. SQL Injection Attack: It is a code injection technique that attacks any type of SQL based data driven applications. The attackers takes advantage of security vulnerabilities of the application & inject malicious SQL code into an entry field for executing the attack. The attack enables them to spoof identity, annul website transactions, destroy the data or allow complete disclosure of user data stored in the database or application.

Regularly updating the antivirus software, avoiding links from unauthorized sources and scrutinizing the website before downloading any application can help in avoiding network security threats.

For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375-9654.