The Man-in-the-Middle attack is one of the oldest types of cyber threats. In this attack then attackers intercept an existing conversation or data transfer, either by eavesdropping or by pretending to be a legitimate participant. To the victim, it will appear as though a standard exchange of information is underway — but by inserting themselves into the “middle” of the conversation or data transfer, the attacker can quietly hijack information.
The goal of a MITM attack is to retrieve confidential data such as bank account details, credit card numbers, or login credentials
The man-in-the-middle attack process has a two-stage approach: interception and decryption.
During the interception step, the cybercriminal attempts to put themselves between the client and server—typically a user and web application.
After targets are determined and fall for the bait, cybercriminals use data capture tools to transmit any login information and web activity back to them and decrypt it into readable text. During the decryption phase, the intercepted data becomes usable to the criminal.
The main types of MITM attacks include:
The HSTS Policy helps protect web application users against some passive (eavesdropping) and active network attacks. A man-in-the-middle attacker has a greatly reduced ability to intercept requests and responses between a user and a web application server while the user’s browser has HSTS Policy in effect for that web application.
The HSTS header stops MitM attacks by instructing the browser to always send HTTPS (as opposed to HTTP) requests to the domain until the policy expires. So a browser that respects the header would send a request to https://example.com even if the user clicked a link to http://example.com.
Scan your website using our ThinkScan tool to know if your website is having HSTS header configured or not.
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