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.


Related: TOP 10 Cyber Security Threats: All You Need to Know 


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.

This remote access opens the door for several criminal operations, such as ransomware, spyware, or other types of malware, to steal confidential information.

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.


Related: How to Remove Virus and Other Malware from Windows 


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.

3. Trojans

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.


Also Read: How to Prevent Malware: Lock Down Your Online Safety


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.


Related: Auslogics Anti-Malware: Features and Reviews


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.


Related: Digital Privacy: Tips on How to Protect Yourself Online 


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.


Related: Stay Safe Online: The Best Ways to Store Passwords 


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,

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.


Related: Internet of Things (IoT) Security: Issues and Solutions


Conclusion

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.

In cybersecurity, a backdoor is an unauthorized, secret way to get unwanted access to a computer system or network. It’s an attack technique used by hackers to enter a system covertly. A backdoor gives hackers a secret pathway to exploit. This enables them to bypass standard security measures, compromise confidential information, and initiate additional attacks.

Backdoor attacks usually exploit software flaws, unprotected network connections, or careless user behavior. Older operating systems or software might be vulnerable since hackers often target known weaknesses. Hackers can introduce malware and open a backdoor through malicious attachments, hacked websites, and phishing emails. Also, insecure or default passwords, particularly for remote access services, allow hackers to break into a system and create a backdoor.
First, disconnect the compromised system from the network to stop further unauthorized access. Use reliable antivirus or anti-malware software like Auslogics Anti-Malware to perform a comprehensive security check to identify and eliminate dangerous elements. Make sure to update any passwords, especially those linked to administrator or privileged accounts. Lastly, get advice from cybersecurity experts to look into the attack, find any weaknesses, and put in place the required security measures to stop backdoor attacks in the future.