Watering hole attacks - another popular cybercrime!

By Jodie Dale | May 10, 2018

Watering Hole AttacksHackers have plenty of ways to breach your systems. They can use complex programs to exploit software bugs, send emails to dupe you into downloading malware, or insert a malware-infected USB drive directly into your computer. However, another increasingly popular hacking method is a watering hole attack.

What are watering hole attacks?

Much like phishing, a watering hole attack is used to distribute malware onto victims’ computers. Cybercriminals infect popular websites with malware. If anyone visits the site, their computers will automatically be loaded with malware.

The malware used in these attacks usually collects the target’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. Sometimes the malware can even give hackers full access to their victims’ computers.

But how does a hacker choose which websites to hack? With internet tracking tools, hackers find out which websites companies and individual users visit the most. They then attempt to find vulnerabilities in those websites and embed them with malicious software.

Any website can fall victim to a watering hole attack. In fact, even high-profile websites like Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple were compromised in 2013. 

You can protect yourself by following these following tips...

1. Update your software

Watering hole attacks often exploit bugs and vulnerabilities to infiltrate your computer, so by updating your software and browsers regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Make it a habit to check the software developer’s website for any security patches. Or better yet, hire a managed IT services provider to keep your system up to date.

2. Watch your network closely

To detect watering hole attacks, you must use network security tools. For example, intrusion prevention systems allow you to detect suspicious and malicious network activities. Meanwhile, bandwidth management software will enable you to observe user behavior and detect abnormalities that could indicate an attack, such as large transfers of information or a high number of downloads.

3. Hide your online activities

Cybercriminals can create more effective watering hole attacks if they compromise websites only you and your employees frequent. As such, you should hide your online activities with a VPN and your browser’s private browsing feature.

How can Diamond help?

At the end of the day, the best protection is staying informed. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, you must always be vigilant and aware of the newest threats.  

Our three-part Ransomware Webinar Series hosted by Diamond Director Martin Thurgate and Diamond’s security expert Peter Lambert, will help you learn about the growing threat of cybercrime, along with techniques to help you minimise your network vulnerabilities.

We can work collaboratively with your team to review existing IT security infrastructure and processes that protects your organisation and its business assets. Call now on 1300 307 907 or via our online contact form below.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

TAGS: Business Value, IT Security

About the Author
Jodie Dale

Marketing Communications Specialist @ Diamond IT - Over 16 years of experience in marketing, including both direct and online marketing roles. I love the challenge of marketing in IT as there is always something new and exciting evolving and changing. My challenge is to keep up with it all!