Backdoors are typical and sometimes not necessarily malicious. However, it can make your system more vulnerable to attack. Hackers can take advantage and gain access to your system without you even knowing.
The most dangerous thing about backdoor attacks is that someone can sneak into your computer for an extended time without your knowledge. It can be challenging to identify such underground activities.
But don’t worry!
In this article, you will learn about backdoor attacks, and we will also teach you how you can prevent backdoor attacks.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a backdoor virus attack, and how does it work?
- 2 Examples of backdoor attacks
- 3 Vulnerabilities to Backdoor Attacks
- 4 How to prevent backdoor attacks?
- 5 Conclusion
What is a backdoor virus attack, and how does it work?
A backdoor is a malware type that bypasses security protocols and gains unauthorized system access. As a result, it grants remote access to resources within applications such as databases and file servers. Hackers can use backdoors to log into systems whenever they want without you suspecting anything.
When hackers successfully hack your system, they can steal sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details. They can also install malware to monitor your activities.
To install a backdoor in your device, hackers first need access to your device either through physical access, malware, or exploiting system vulnerabilities. Here are some of the common vulnerabilities:
- Open ports
- Weak passwords
- Unpatched software
- Weak firewalls
A piece of malware can create vulnerabilities. Even hackers can use existing trojans on your device to create a backdoor.
Here are some different kinds of backdoors that are frequently used:
Malware files that pretend to be legitimate to gain access to your device. Once you click the allow or similar button on your device, the trojan will install itself on your device. Trojan backdoors allow hackers to access your data and programs or install malware files on your device.
It is an advanced malware that can hide its activities from an operating system so that the OS can give root access to the rootkit. A hacker can access your device remotely, make changes, observe, and sabotage your system with a rootkit.
Hardware backdoors are modified chips or other hardware (computers, routers, thermostats, phones, etc.) that provide unauthorized users access to the device. It can be used for surveillance, communicating data, or providing remote access. Hardware backdoors can be installed physically on a device if a device is stolen or shipped with products by a manufacturer.
These are essentially called “master keys” that can unlock any data that is encrypted. Encryption standards like AES use end-to-end encryption techniques so that only the parties who exchanged the cryptographic key can decrypt the information. But backdoors are created to break this secure conversation between parties.
Examples of backdoor attacks
In 2017, security researchers discovered a double pulsar malware developed initially by NSA (US national security agency). It was being used to monitor Windows PCs, installing a cryptojacker on computing devices. The cryptojacker stole processing power from infected computer devices to mine bitcoin and secretly joined thousands of devices into a massive crypto-mining botnet.
Dual EC, also called NSA cryptographic backdoor, uses a mathematical formula of the elliptic curve to generate random numbers to encrypt user data. However, it has a backdoor and can be decrypted by high-level technical users with a secret key. NSA pushed large companies to adopt Dual EC cryptographic protocol. Companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and blackberry used Dual EC in their variety of products, leaving millions of users open to surveillance.
In 2013, Edward Snowden issued documents that proved NSA had secret keys, basically to decrypt communications that are encrypted with Dual EC.
It allows hackers to gain access to any kind of website, even the secured sites with two-factor authentication. Poison tap is a pretty dangerous piece of malware. But luckily, it can only be installed by Raspberry Pi into the victim’s USB port. It was developed by a hacker and has not been deployed in an attack.
Vulnerabilities to Backdoor Attacks
By implementing multiple security, users can still be vulnerable to attacks because users have tons of weak points in their networks and other appliances plugged into the IoT. The following are some standard methods hackers used to install a backdoor into users’ devices.
Hidden backdoors are intentionally installed by software developers to perform legitimate activities like resolving any software issue or customer support. However, reputable manufacturers installed backdoors with extreme security protection to prevent foul play.
An open port on a network accepts all the traffic, and as a result, it creates weak points that hackers can utilize. These ports allow hackers to install backdoors to access your device without alert.
Weak passwords are easy for hackers to crackdown. Once they have cracked one account, they can easily access your other accounts and devices.
Hackers can easily install malware, including backdoors, on out-of-date software. But if you regularly keep your software and apps updated, you’re probably not going to be a victim of this attack.
Clicking on a random ad, usually for a big sale and other scams or downloading a free program or movie, can end up giving your information or installing a malware file on your device.
How to prevent backdoor attacks?
Though it is difficult to detect a backdoor attack, it’s not impossible to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your network. Below are some techniques that will help you keep your device safe from backdoor virus attacks.
Always use sophisticated antivirus software to detect and prevent a wide range of malware like cryptojackers, rootkits, trojans, and spyware. An antivirus will immediately detect malware and remove it before affecting your device.
Good antivirus like advanced Firewalls, WiFi monitoring, and web protection will ensure your safety online.
Backdoors are often tied with legitimate free software, programs, and files. Before downloading any file from the internet, check that you are only downloading the file you want or if some malicious files are coming along. Sometimes even a file you’re looking for could be a trojan.
Always download from trusted official websites, avoid pirate sites, and install real-time protection that alerts you for malware before downloading any file.
Firewalls play a vital role in protecting your system. It monitors all the incoming and outgoing traffic on your device. If someone tries to get into your device without permission, the firewall will block them, and if an app on your device tries to send out data to an unknown network location, the firewall will block that app too.
A password manager can help generate and store login information for all your accounts and help you log in automatically. Password managers use a master password to encrypt password databases, so you don’t need to type your credentials every time. All you have to do is save your passwords on the password manager and
Create a Master Password
When you want to sign in to any of your accounts, you need to type the master password, and it will automatically fill in the data. Some password managers have the feature to notify you when your data has been breached, and the password you are using has been found on the pile of stolen user data.
Multi-factor authentication is designed to improve security. It requires you to confirm your identity in more than one way to access any application, website, or software.
MFA requires the following three elements to prove your identity.
- Something only you know ( password or pin )
- Something only you have ( your device )
- Something only belongs to you ( voice, fingerprint, or facial feature)
Updates and Patches
Hackers know the weaknesses in software that are not updated. Research shows that one in three breaches are caused by vulnerabilities in software that have already been patched.
Luckily developers frequently release new patches to fix vulnerabilities, giving notifications about updates.
You can turn on automatic updates to be on the safe side if you forget to update on time because it is essential to keep your software updated. After all, backdoors depend on fooling your OS.
Once a backdoor virus is installed on your device, it will be hard to detect because files tend to be highly obscure. And they create ways for hackers to access your information or install malware.
On top of that, if you are doing online business on your network, you can be in more danger. But fortunately, there are ways you can prevent yourself and your business from backdoor virus attacks.
With all these security tips, AEserver is a UAE-based hosting service provider ensuring the security of your business with the best technologies and tools you need on your system. Our security services and add-on tools like Site lock and WAF will help you minimize the risk of backdoor virus attacks.