What are Backdoor Attacks? How to Prevent It?
In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security threats, cloud security issues and solutions, backdoor attacks have emerged as a significant concern for individuals, businesses, and governments alike. Additionally, cybercriminals use numerous methods to exploit weaknesses in operating systems or applications, gaining unauthorized access to devices and networks.
In this blog, we’ll cover what this attack is, different types of it, and essential tips to protect yourself from such attacks.
What Do You Mean By Backdoor Attack?
It is a type of malicious activity where cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in software or networks to gain unauthorized access to the system. Moreover, this type of attack can be delivered through various means, including phishing emails, infected software downloads, and exploitation of software vulnerabilities.
Once it is installed, detection is difficult because the files tend to be highly complicated. However, malicious actions threat actors perform once they have access to the system include the following:
- Stealing sensitive information
- Destruction of websites
- Hijacking servers
- Using Rootkits
- Installing spyware, keyloggers, and Trojan horses
The consequences of this attack on cybercrime vary. In some cases, they can be immediate and severe and result in a data breach that can harm customers and the business.
This type of attack can also operate on a large scale, targeting the government or enterprise IT infrastructure. However, attackers use small-scale attacks to target individual or personal computing implementations.
The advanced persistent threat is a type of sophisticated cyberattack that might be used as a backdoor to attack a system on multiple fronts. With these types of attacks, the backdoor will remain in the system for a long time.
Now, let’s understand how hackers use this attack.
How Does a Backdoor Attack Work?
Every computer system has different means by which users are supposed to access it. Frequently, this involves an authentication system in which the user submits a password or other credentials to establish their identity.
Upon successful authentication, the user gains access to the system, with permissions limited to their specific account. However, this authentication provides security, and it can be convenient for some users, both legitimate and illegitimate.
A system administrator might require remote access to a system that doesn’t naturally allow it. In contrast, an attacker may want to attack the company’s database server despite lacking the necessary credentials.
Additionally, a system manufacturer might include a default account to facilitate system configuration, testing, and deployment of updates to the system.
Types of Backdoor Attacks in Cyber Crime
Backdoors can come in multiple forms; a few of the most common types include:
- Trojans: this is a malicious program that is often installed through a backdoor and appears harmless. A backdoor trojan contains a backdoor that enables remote administrative control of the targeted system.
- Web shells: This is a webpage that is designed to take user input and execute it within the system terminal. Moreover, the system or network administrator commonly installs these backdoors to facilitate remote access and management of the corporate system.
- Built-in backdoors: Device manufacturers sometimes incorporate backdoors in the form of default accounts, illegal remote access systems, and similar functionalities. Although these backdoors are primarily intended for the manufacturer’s convenience, they are often deliberately challenging to disable. Over time, these hidden entry points can become known to the public, exposing security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.
Before proceeding, let’s turn over how you’ll be able to detect this attack in cybersecurity.
How To Detect Backdoor Attacks
It might be evident for now how much havoc a software backdoor can create, even if it is meant for a rightful purpose.
Backdoors might be hidden for most of the users. They are hidden by using alias names, codes of deception, and multiple layers of protection. That’s why it is difficult to detect. Therefore, here are some detection measures, which are mentioned below:
- Behavioral Analysis: Monitoring system behavior for errors and unusual activities can help identify a backdoor presence in the system.
- Signature-based Detection: By using signature-based antivirus or intrusion detection systems to identify the known backdoor patterns.
- Traffic Analysis: Examining network traffic for unusual patterns or connections to suspicious IP addresses
- Memory Analysis: Analyzing system memory for signs of backdoor activity or malicious code injection
- File Integrity Checking: checking the regular file integrity to detect unauthorized charges to system files can help in the detection of backdoor types of attacks.
How to Protect Your Device From Backdoor Attack
Some best practices for protecting against the exploitation of backdoors include:
- Changing Default Credentials: Default accounts are among the most prevalent types of backdoor attacks in cyber security. When configuring a new device, it is crucial to disable default accounts whenever possible. Alternatively, if disabling isn’t an option, it is critical to change the password from the default setting to enhance security.
- Deploying a Professional Security Solution: Backdoors are commonly implemented as Trojan malware. Furthermore, an advanced cybersecurity service is designed in such a way that it can easily detect malware threats through malware analysis and manage all cybersecurity types of incidents at all levels.
- Keep Firewall On: Ensure that the firewall protects every device on a network. Additionally, to block these attacks effectively, application firewalls and web application firewalls prove precious by restricting the flow of traffic across open ports. This limitation significantly enhances the overall security of the system.
- Monitor Apps and Extension Installations: While installing an application, make sure that no other program is being installed in the primary one. The additional program may be malicious and can cause a backdoor. Similarly, before installing a plugin or web extension, verify its authenticity by seeing its ratings and reviews.
Backdoor attacks are not always software-based, but they aren’t always created by rogue hackers. Moreover, according to a report by the German news outlet Der Spiegel in 2013, the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit was found to possess a catalog of backdoors.
That was specifically designed for implanting in firewalls, routers, and various other devices to be utilized overseas. Furthermore, there were allegations that the NSA integrated backdoor functionalities into individual hardware components, such as hard drives and USB cables.
Backdoor attacks continue to be a dreadful threat in the cyber security landscape. However, organizations can protect themselves from these attacks by understanding the methodologies used by hackers. This can be done by implementing proactive and advanced defense strategies.
Additionally, make yourself familiar with this type of cyberattack and the affiliated partners that can help you and your organization’s security concerns.
To know more about the firm’s capabilities, you can contact and feel free to ask for any type of query related to cyber security.