- What Is a Backdoor Attack
- How Do Backdoor Attacks Work?
- How To Prevent Backdoor Attacks
It’s crucial to understand the threat of a backdoor attack in this ever-changing field of cybersecurity and secure yourself.
That’s the purpose of this guide. We’ll show you how to protect against backdoor attacks. This guide will show you how to identify and stop the dangers of backdoor viruses.
Cyber threats are becoming increasingly complex. So, you need a proactive approach to secure your digital environment.
For example, if you think the primary objective of cybercriminals is to steal personal data or credit card information and sell it online, well, you’re wrong. That view is changing.
According to the 2023 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, backdoor hacking was the most common method cybercriminals took.
Let’s begin if you’re ready to secure yourself from backdoor attacks.
What Is a Backdoor Attack
A backdoor is a secret entryway for unauthorized users (or cybercriminals) to access a computer system. This creates a serious security risk because hackers can change or steal data if they have access through the backdoor.
Sometimes, software developers intentionally create these secret routes to help them quickly resolve issues. Unfortunately, that’s how hackers get in.
Cybercriminals use these hidden routes to get unauthorized access to systems and data, known as a backdoor attack.
Because the hackers don’t have to breach the established security measures physically, these attacks are initially difficult to detect.
Once inside, they can perform harmful actions such as data theft, malware installation, and spying on what you do.
How Do Backdoor Attacks Work?
As said earlier, a backdoor allows access to a system without going through the standard authentication processes.
Cybercriminals can remotely access business networks through backdoors, even without authorized access to an organization’s accounts.
Backdoors are often used as an attacker’s first entry point into an organization’s environment. A hacker may use a backdoor set up by a system administrator or another authorized user.
DarkSide Ransomware Attack
Here’s a real-life example of how backdoor malware works. In 2021, DarkSide ransomware significantly reduced fuel supplies throughout the East Coast.
This attack was one of the worst cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.
The cybercriminals installed malicious software using targeted phishing and exploiting known vulnerabilities in operating systems.
The malware then infiltrated secure systems using these backdoors and locked employees out of their computers. The hackers sent scam messages requesting payment.
The DarkSide ransomware could have been prevented if an employee had used strong passwords or multi-factor authentication.
Microsoft Exchange Ransomware
Cybercriminals used backdoor attacks on clients’ Exchange servers in 2021 to spread ransomware by using flaws in Microsoft Exchange.
After Bitsight analysis, they discovered that thousands of organizations were impacted. Thankfully, several of them took quick action to resolve the issues.
But weeks after this attack, Bitsight observed that 4% of Exchange servers, or over 14,000 servers, continued to show symptoms of the backdoor attack.
Different Types of Backdoor Hacking
There are several types of backdoor attacks, and each operates in a different way. Let’s go through the most common backdoor virus attacks:
1. Backdoor Exploits
This backdoor virus takes advantage of holes in software or systems to get unauthorized access.
For example, a backdoor vulnerability could take advantage of a weakness in the corporate office PCs’ security software.
Through this exploit, attackers can access the system and install a virus that gives them control over all of the bank’s online transactions.
2. Remote Access Backdoor
Hackers can now remotely access systems they wouldn’t usually be able to with the help of these attacks.
For example, a hacker can send false emails if they intercept data shared between two users but can’t secretly add messages into the data stream.
These messages can claim that the receivers must download a crucial security update.
When you download and install the update, you’ll install malware that gives the hackers remote access to their systems.
Backdoor malware usually poses as harmless files to get past organizational security and give attackers access to a company’s systems.
For example, Trojan horses pose as helpful or harmless files but conceal harmful features. This gives cybercriminals remote access to infected systems.
4. Built-in Backdoors
Device manufacturers can incorporate backdoors through undocumented remote access systems, default accounts, and other similar features.
These technologies are meant to be used by the manufacturer. But they are usually difficult to disable, and their security reduces as time passes.
This makes security flaws visible to potential attackers.
5. Web Shells
Web shells are web pages designed to process user input as system terminals.
These backdoors are frequently installed by system and network administrators to simplify remote access and administration of business systems.
6. Supply Chain Exploits
Third-party libraries and code are frequently integrated into software and web applications.
Attackers may insert backdoor code into a library via supply chain exploits, hoping it’ll be used in business applications.
This offers a backdoor entry to access computers that are using the program.
How To Prevent Backdoor Attacks
It’s vital to know how to protect against backdoor attacks. According to Statista, backdoor attacks accounted for the most prevalent type of malware attacks (37%).
Here are some ways to prevent a backdoor in cybersecurity:
1. Use a Reliable Anti-Malware Tool
You need trustworthy anti-malware software to detect malicious programs on your computer, especially since hackers use Trojans and Remote Access Trojans (RATs) to install backdoor malware.
Check out Auslogics Anti-Malware. It’s a reliable and effective tool for identifying malicious files that could be hidden on your computer.
Auslogics Anti-Malware allows you to:
- schedule automatic scans,
- boost the security and safety of your PC,
- use an intuitive user interface, and
- find and eliminate malware that your main antivirus program might have missed.
This tool works seamlessly with your primary antivirus software, regardless of the brand.
Although there are various ways to stop a backdoor attack, the best defense is to use an anti-malware program to find Trojans, RATs, and other malware.
2. Take Caution When Downloading
Backdoors often come with free software, files, and apps that appear to be authentic. Make sure you download the intended file exclusively and not any unwanted files.
That’s because the file may be a Trojan.
A real-time antivirus program should detect and flag malicious files as soon as they are downloaded to prevent them from infecting your computer.
You should always download files from official websites rather than pirated ones.
3. Use a Password Manager
Password managers streamline the login process by creating and storing login credentials for each account.
The data is securely encrypted with a 256-bit AES encryption and master password.
You can strengthen your password security vault with advanced solutions that offer biometric logins and 2FA tools like USB tokens and TOTP generators.
Password managers can increase the difficulty of hackers trying to access your network by creating complex, randomly generated passwords.
This is especially true if they install a backdoor on your computer.
4. Know Your Attack Surface
You need to identify the primary risks, understand your weak points, and strengthen them to prevent a backdoor attack.
Keeping a check on your online presence, including the cloud, devices, and connections with other businesses, is part of monitoring your attack surface.
You can better understand the dangers involved by monitoring everything, including,
- digital assets,
- devices (including IoT devices),
- cloud data storage,
- various business divisions, and
- your operational location.
This can help you to determine where to focus your troubleshooting efforts.
For example, If a large portion of your company’s systems don’t have the most recent updates, you can quickly identify all of them, assess their risk level, and fix the most important ones first.
This can help you address backdoor viruses more effectively.
In the current cybersecurity environment, it’s crucial to protect against a backdoor attack. The DarkSide ransomware outbreak best shows the gravity of these risks.
You can use preventive measures like using trustworthy anti-malware programs, such as Auslogics Anti-Malware, being cautious when downloading, using password managers, and being aware of your attack surface.
You must use strong defenses against backdoor attacks. Go through this guide and implement the solutions discussed.