Cybersecurity is of great concern in every industry where computers have become a part of the working environment. There is hardly any industry we might come across wherein the computers are not being used. This widespread usage of computers for easy storage of data has opened up its vulnerabilities to malicious characters who would like to steal data from the computers and networks.
They are invisible and operate subtly and hardly get noticed. Attacking a particular industry network or employees to steal data or to cause any kind of damage to the system is termed as a watering hole attack. In this blog let’s take a look at what is a watering hole attack, watering hole attack definition, and watering hole attack prevention to safeguard our data.
A specific group of individuals or particular industry users are targeted at a time. The goal behind the attack is to compromise the target set of users. This is achieved by infecting the websites the users frequently visit. When the users visit the maliciously infected site, the user’s computes are infected and cybercriminals get access to the individual’s laptop or network. The watering hole attacks are entirely dependent on a compromised website. So, the scope of success rate is less unless the individual is lured to these websites. Cybercriminals use watering hole social engineering techniques to identify the websites that are frequently used by the targeted users.
The watering hole phishing and malware is commonly used to attack the target group of victims. Once the cybercriminals have compromised a website, they wait patiently till they can get targets to their malicious net. Cybercriminals looking to make economic gains focus on public favorite consumer websites amongst the users. If the cybercriminals are looking for much more than economic gain then they aim at public websites of known industry. The attackers focus on the vulnerabilities of the website. On understanding these vulnerabilities, they infect the malware and wait till the target falls into the trap.
The water hole attack has got its name from Jungle where predators lurk around the watering holes to catch their prey. Similar to that here cybercriminals compromise the website that is frequently visited by the users and lure them to a malicious website. Cybercriminals wait patiently luring the targets to click on the links or pdf files to give them entry to their laptop or network. Once the user is lured, cybercriminals take over their laptop and network.
Following are few ways to detect the water hole attacks
Internet is a must for everyday activity. So we cannot completely cut off from communication channels via the internet. So prevention is the option left for individuals and organizations.
Below are a few instances where organizations faced water hole attacks.
As long as there is the usage of the internet and communication channels via email, and instant messaging exist there are chances for water hole attacks. With the technology advance, malicious characters will identify new vulnerabilities to attach their target group of people. So, watering hole cyber attack is a serious threat for organizations. So, watering hole cybersecurity is a prime concern to organizations to detect.
This hard to detect quality of the attack makes the threat challenging for the organizations. Organizations are brazing themselves with firewalls to screen incoming emails, downloads, and also the fake email id’s. Employees are also made aware of the risk and advised to take necessary precautions while downloading the files. Precautionary measures are taken to verify the content being sent out of the organization.
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