Watering Hole Attacks: Posing Continuous Threat To Data Security

Watering Hole Attacks: Posing Continuous Threat To Data Security

Last year, the official website of a bank based in Poland was targeted by a group named Lazarus which had an effect on over 150 IP addresses in 31 countries! It was done using Watering hole technique/attack. It has derived its name from wild predators of Africa, they lurk around water bodies and wait for their prey to come and drink water so that they can attack them! The watering hole attack works similarly! Impressive indeed! Read the blog further and know about this dangerous attack!

How Watering Hole Attack Works?

This attack is specially designed and strategized to exploit the user or organization. Usually, the hackers keep an eye on the network to find out which websites are being visited by the users. Then they carry out an in-depth analysis of the websites and find the loopholes in them. Furthermore, using various techniques, the vulnerable websites are compromised. The most common trick is to inject the malicious scripts into their web pages so that they redirect the victim to a totally different website that is host to malware and other malicious programs.

Watering Hole Attacks
Source: vecteezy.com


When the victim’s browser connects with the redirected website, it attacks the system. And if the system is left unprotected, the code running on the malicious website interacts with the vulnerable and unprotected apps and software on the hosts system! Eventually, it installs malware on the hosts system and depending upon the code which was used to target, the malware starts taking a toll on health of infected system! It may steal user’s data, hold it ransom, or rob you by using your banking credentials. If you are a part of an organization, then you can be targeted with malware that spreads to other systems in that organization!

There Is More:

These attacks are harmful because they are not easy to detect and thus are capable of extremely harming a computer or your network! Moreover, many a time the most trusted websites are targeted or the ones which are being used as partners and thus taking action against them becomes a hard nut to crack! Another issue with this attack is that the websites are targeted in this; one can train people to identify and stay away from the phishing mails but not malicious websites! And if a website is highly popular, then no one suspects presence of malware in it!

what is Watering Hole Attacks
Source: moziru.com


Can You Shield Yourself From This Attack?

There is no sure method of saving a system or a network from this attack, however, a few steps can be taken as precaution! Read further to know about them!

Read AlsoDo You Need an Offline Malware Scanner?

Keep All Software Updated

No matter how hard you try, you cannot fight modern threats and attacks using older versions of software. The reason behind this is that the new versions patch the security issues and help the users from fighting against hackers!

Keep An Eye On Activities Of The Users

As said earlier, these are quite difficult to detect and thus watering hole attacks are dangerous. To make sure your systems are secure, analyze the commonly visited websites and inspect them for vulnerabilities. Though it will be a tedious process, you’ll be saved from chaos of future.

Ensure You Take Proper Endpoint Security Precautions

This should be done on every computer that is being connected with the Internet! Web is full of different types of malware, viruses, malicious files and thus we should at least take some basic precautions for data security!

Ensure You Take Proper Endpoint Security Precautions
Source: thepienews.com


In case, you find something fishy in a website, do not hesitate a bit and notify them about the same. This way you can save thousands of users from getting infected! Moreover, it is imperative for organizations to deploy feasible network security software to stay patched. Not just watering hole attack, there are others also which can cause much harm to your network and system!

In conclusion, we’d like to say that we cannot stay entirely safe at any cost. Therefore, it is imperative that we try our best to stay shielded. Without proper precautions, hackers can use watering hole attacks to bypass the security system and network of any organization! What do you think?

Must Read: The Most Common Email Phishing Targets

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