Man In The Middle Attack: Types, Working, and Prevention


Every sector in the world is stepping towards digitalization, and with digitalization comes issues of cybercrimes. Among all, one of the platforms where most cybercrimes are committed in the field of cryptocurrencies. One of these crimes is the man-in-the-middle attack. In the world of cryptocurrencies, when a person secretly interprets the communication between two parties, exchanging cryptocurrency and violating rules of cryptography, then the person is seen as an attacker and termed as a man-in-the-middle.

The man-in-the-middle aims to steal personal and private information, such as account details, credit card numbers, and login credentials. Exchanging cryptocurrencies is a whole process conducted online and has so many issues related to privacy and security. Though, with time attempts are made to make it less insure and more protected for its users.

Sometimes the man-in-the-middle is also called monkey-in-the-middle, monster-in-the-middle, or machine-in-the-middle, or person-in-the-middle. When a middle man is involved between the application and user or the user and the broker to steal the personal information, it is called the man in the middle attack. Cryptocurrency is an independent source to exchange virtual currency, and it is fully independent of the administration and central government.

They are sometimes used to do illegal activities, and so many cybercrimes are committed in the process of exchanging virtual currency. First of all, it is important to understand what is man-in-the-middle attack? Or what is MITM attack and then to know in how many ways they can be triggered and at last, How to prevent man-in-the-middle-attack.

  1. Types of Man In The Middle Attack
  2. How Does Man In The Middle Attack Work?
  3. Prevention Methods to Prevent Man In The Middle Attack

1. Types of Man In The Middle Attack

The man-in-the-middle is the person who pretends to be someone you can trust, but in reality, is involved in stealing important information from the user. There are many types of a man-in-the-middle attack, and a few of them are discussed below:

  1. IP Spoofing attacks: In the internet world, all the systems connected to some network or website are connected with an IP address. Hackers or attackers use these IP addresses to infiltrate the network as an authorized user. Attackers duplicate the IP address of an authorized system, and the network approves the system. The user thinks it is communicating to the web application directly, but the man-in-the-middle intercepts all the information.
  2.  Email Hijacking: In this cyberattack, the attacker plans to gather information through an email account. The attacker hacks the user’s email account, waits for the email containing credential information to arrive, and steals the information afterward. 
  3. HTTPS Spoofing: No one can create a duplicate HTTPS address, but the hacker aims at creating a similar web address that looks authentic. It uses alphabets from a different language that looks similar to the existing HTTPS address.
  4. Wi-Fi Eavesdropping: Public WI-Fi is not considered secure as it is easy to spy on the device connected to an unencrypted Wi-Fi network. Sometimes, the attacker duplicates the internet hotspot, also called ‘Evil Twin,’ and makes it look similar to the authenticated hotspot connection.
  5. DNS Spoofing: A hacker can create a Domain Name Server or DNS. In this type of cyber attack, the attacker links the DNS name of an authentic website to a different IP address. The moment a user clicks on the fake website, the hacker can access the user’s privacy and security information.
  6. SSL Stripping: Secure socket Layer is an encryption protocol. Here, the attacker intercepts and forwards traffic pretending to be the user. The user is logged into a website that is duplicate and is created by the hacker. 
  7. ARP Spoofing: This type of attack can be performed in a local area network that uses the ARP protocol. When the user sends a request, the attacker sends a fake reply pretending to be the device. 
  8. Man-in-the-Browser: In this type of cyber attack, when the user attempts an online bank transaction, malware present on the site copy the user’s credentials.

2. How Does Man In The Middle Attack Work?

 Man-in-the-middle attacks are considered as one of the oldest cyber-security attacks. Man-in-the-middle attacks definition is simple. In this type of cyber attack, the attacker or the hacker is sitting between the user and the application without them knowing and intercept the information shared between the two. The attacker’s aim could be snooping or spying on the individuals or the groups to steal the login credentials, credit card number, funds, resources, or redirecting efforts or attention. Most of the attacks are attempted through wired networks or Wi-Fi. 

As discussed above, man-in-the-middle attacks can be attempted in many ways depending on the attacker’s target and goals. The attacker can use Email-hijacking to get access to the user’s email and then steal the information pr. The attacker can try HTTPS snooping, DNS snooping to act as an authorized web page. Still, the minute the user logins to the fake or duplicate web page, the attacker gets access to the user’s private information or login credentials. In online banking, the attacker could know when the user is transferring and how much of the amount.

3. Prevention Methods to Prevent Man In The Middle Attack

The attacker who tries to steal privacy information has many reasons and is aware of many methods to attack. So it becomes important for the user to be aware of those cybercrimes and also the prevention methods. The user must know how to detect a man-in-the-middle attack. Some of the methods to avoid online frauds and be safe from cyber crimes committed by the man-in-the-middle are listed below:

  1. Install Anti-virus: Man-in-the-middle attack prevention starts with installing an antivirus on your device. Most of the attacks rely on malware. Users are advised to install antivirus and malware protection to protest your system from malware attack.
  2. Use Private Wi-Fi networks: Using private Wi-Fi networks can help in preventing Wi-Fi eavesdropping. If, in any case, the user is using a public Wi=Fi connection, then they must configure their device to require a manual connection.
  3. Network Security: The network administration should be using good network hygiene to eliminate attacks. Traffic patterns must be analyzed once in a while to detect or identify any unusual behavior.
  4. Secure Your Communication: To prevent attacks, one must consider double securing communication. To prevent cyberattacks like MITM, two-factor authentication must be enabled. Encrypting essential credentials is the best way to protect against intercepted communication.
  5. Use VPN: Using a Virtual Private Network to encrypt your web traffic can help prevent MITM attacks. Always have a cyber-security incident response plan.  
  6. MITM attack detection tools: There are many tools available to detect MITM attacks called Man-in-the-middle attack tools.


So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.


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