Backdoors are typical and may not necessarily be malicious. However, they can make your computer more vulnerable to attack. Hackers can take advantage of them and gain full access to your system – and you won’t even know it.
The danger with backdoor attacks is that someone could be sneaking on your computer for an extended period without your knowledge. Though it can be difficult to identify such underground activities, don’t worry anymore – we’ll teach you how to prevent backdoor attacks in this guide.
What Is a Backdoor Attack?
A backdoor is a method used to bypass security protocols and gain unauthorized access to systems. Hackers can use a backdoor to log in to your computer whenever they want to without you suspecting anything, thereby committing a backdoor attack.
When they successfully hack your PC, they can steal sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card details saved on your system, etc. Also, they can install further malware, such as ransomware or spyware, which can monitor your private activities.
How Are Backdoors Created?
We’ll share three ways through which backdoors are created. Note that not all backdoors are built for fraudulent purposes.
Getting to know the three following categories of backdoor users will help you understand the concept in question better:
1. Software Developers
Backdoors are not always malicious. Sometimes, software developers deliberately code backdoors into their apps to gain legitimate access for remote administration, diagnostics, troubleshooting, and more.
Most hackers search for admin backdoors created by software developers to circumvent security measures. When they find one, they play around with the code, crack it, and break into the system.
2. Security Organizations
Security organizations can use backdoors in order to access protected systems. For example, there was an issue with the NSA in 2013, when Edward Snowden leaked the intelligence agency’s documents to the public. The agency put pressure on software developers to install backdoors into their applications. The issue of backdoors and their usage by security organizations was brought to the public’s attention again in 2016, when the FBI filed a lawsuit to force Apple to unlock an iPhone through a backdoor.
Hackers can code their backdoors and send them to targeted systems using Remote Access Trojans (RATs). A RAT consists of lines of malicious code with a backdoor for admin control on a targeted device.
Usually, hackers send these files to unsuspecting users under the guise of legitimate merchandise. Nowadays, they mostly use apps, emails with malicious links, documents, pictures, and so on. Sometimes, they may only need you to respond to one email to gain access to your PC.
Are Backdoors Dangerous?
Backdoors are not inherently dangerous, but once hackers can detect them on your computer, they can use them to circumvent your security mechanisms and gain unauthorized access to your system – and that’s what makes them quite unsafe.
Moreover, you risk losing sensitive information and control over your system if it is hacked. Also, after accessing your PC, hackers can
- install other malware on the system, including spyware, ransomware, etc.;
- steal sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card details, and more;
- control the system remotely;
- download or upload files; and
- change the system’s settings.
How to Prevent Backdoor Attacks
Preventing hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your computer through backdoors is not an impossible task. Though it is difficult to detect a backdoor quickly, especially when hackers are already exploiting it, the following techniques will help you put a stop to their activities on your computer:
1. Use a Reliable Anti-Malware Tool
It is vital to use reliable anti-malware software to detect malicious programs on your computer, mainly because hackers embed their backdoors in systems using RATs and Trojans.
Auslogics Anti-Malware is a reliable, effective tool that can detect harmful files that you’d never suspect existed on your computer.
Protect PC from Threats with Anti-Malware
Check your PC for malware your antivirus may miss and get threats safely removed with Auslogics Anti-Malware
Auslogics Anti-Malware allows you to:
- schedule automatic scans flexibly,
- beef up your computer’s safety and security,
- enjoy a user-friendly interface, and
- detect and remove items your main antivirus tool may miss.
The tool won’t conflict with your main antivirus program regardless of the brand.
Though there are other ways to prevent backdoor attacks, using an anti-malware tool to detect Trojans, RATs and other types of malware is still the most effective technique.
2. Change Your Passwords Periodically
Most times, hackers leave your computer for a while after gaining access to your system, and then they come back later to perpetuate their fraudulent act. Changing your passwords regularly can help shut them out the next time they try to access your computer.
It would help if you combined characters, words, numbers, and capitalization to form a strong password. However, ensure that it’s a password you can remember.
3. Be Careful With Free Download Websites
Many free download websites allow software developers to upload apps that they feel could be useful for computer users. However, unfortunately, safety regulations are far from stringent on such websites.
That’s why you have to be careful when downloading free apps and games. Some developers upload malicious apps that can create backdoors when downloaded on your PC. Moreover, it’s always better to download paid apps – they are usually safer and more reliable.
4. Don’t Click Suspicious Emails
Thanks to sturdy security algorithms on many emailing platforms, it’s easy to detect emails that contain harmful content. Many such emails go to the spam folder as soon as they arrive. However, you still have to be careful with clicking links in or opening or downloading files from emails that appear in your “inbox.” Otherwise, you risk falling victim to a backdoor attack. To avoid falling into the trap, delete emails that aren’t relevant immediately you receive them.
On a Final Note
We hope you have learned how to protect your system against backdoor attacks. You can share your experience in the comments section below. Also, visit our blog to find useful articles on Windows-related issues.