DEV Community

Shivam Chamoli
Shivam Chamoli

Posted on

What is a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attack?

Image description

What is MITM attack?

A Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack is a cyber-attack where an attacker intercepts and potentially alters communications between a user and an application or service without their knowledge or consent. The attacker positions themselves between the two parties and relays messages between them, making it appear they are communicating directly. This allows the attacker to intercept, modify, or inject malicious content into the communication. To carry out a MITM attack, the attacker typically exploits vulnerabilities in the network infrastructure or compromises trusted entities, such as Wi-Fi access points, DNS servers, or routers.

How does the MITM attack work?

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of how a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack works:

Image description

The attacker identifies a vulnerable communication channel between two parties, such as a Wi-Fi network or an unsecured website.
The attacker positions itself between the two parties by exploiting vulnerabilities or impersonating a trusted entity, like Wi-Fi access points or DNS servers.
When the legitimate sender (Alice) initiates communication with the intended recipient (Bob), the attacker intercepts the traffic without their knowledge.
The attacker can eavesdrop on the communication or actively manipulate it. They may read, modify, or inject malicious content into the messages exchanged between Alice and Bob.
Both Alice and Bob remain unaware of the interception as the attacker relays the communication between them, making it appear they are directly communicating.
By doing so, the attacker can gather sensitive information, such as login credentials, financial details, or personal data, and use it for malicious purposes.

What are the different types of MITM attacks?

Here are some common types of MITM attacks:

• ARP spoofing: The attacker manipulates the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) to redirect network traffic through their device.
• DNS spoofing: The attacker forges DNS responses, redirecting users to malicious websites by mapping legitimate domain names to incorrect IP addresses.
• IP spoofing: The attacker manipulates IP packets' source addresses to appear as trusted entities, allowing them to intercept and modify data.
• SSL/TLS stripping: The attacker intercepts, and decrypts encrypted SSL/TLS connections, allowing them to view and modify the traffic.
• Session hijacking: The attacker steals session identifiers or cookies to impersonate a legitimate user and gain unauthorized access to an application or service.

How can InfosecTrain help?

Enroll in InfosecTrain's Certified Ethical Hacker training course to learn about various types of cyber-attacks, including Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks. Our well-structured curriculum, expert-led instruction, and hands-on labs and exercises on cyberattacks will boost your learning experience.

Top comments (0)