The Role of SSL Certificates in Preventing Man-in-the-middle Attacks
Website infiltration has become the new normal, cybercriminals and frauds are now spread out all over the internet, rise of cyber-attacks is reaching a pinnacle that indicates internet vulnerabilities. Amidst these attacks and fraudulent practices spanning across the digital world, Man-in-the-middle attacks are the most common.
These attacks consistently interrupt the seamless connections occurring between two devices over the internet. As a result, they may increase the risks of cybercrimes and leakage of confidential information, which aggravates a desperate need for protection against such crimes and illicit practices. Naturally, an SSL certificate can be a potential fit.
SSL certificate has been the vanguard in the world of cybercrimes for protection. They are the ultimate driving forces to a healthy internet life wherein websites, and customers can successfully build a direct link with one another without any third-party interruption. It significantly reduces the risk of other cybercrimes too. But the question is whether it can also help deplete the risk of Man-in-the-middle attacks. Let us find out as we read for further information about the same.
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Man-in-the-Middle attacks Explained!
The MiTM (Man-in-The-Middle) attacks are those cybercrimes wherein third-party acts as an attacker and infiltrates two parties as an eavesdropper. The attacker tries to decode the information being shared between the two parties by being in the middle & acting as either of the two parties. Hence, when the hosting server or the browsing user thinks they are talking to each other, they speak to this hacker in the middle.
Although both parties think they have an encrypted connection, these attackers sit in the middle to alter the data passed on to both ways and leverage the data coming from both ends, known as Man-in-the-Middle attacks.
Role Of SSL to Prevent Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
MiTM attacks occur when an attacker intercepts the communication between two devices & attempts to gain access to sensitive information; this is a common type of attack used by hackers, and an EV SSL certificate can prevent such attacks. Using encryption, SSL creates a secure connection that prevents hackers from tampering with the transferred data. Hence, even if they can intercept the communication, they cannot decipher it or steal any information.
SSL offers HTTPS as a trust indicator in the URL address bar. The private key used to provide protection also helps SSL create a valid connection between two parties directly. So, can the attacker stealthily arrive in the middle of these two parties and decode the information they share? Well, NO!
SSL provides unbreakable end-to-end encryption due to the security mechanism (SHA-2 Secure Hashing Algorithm) it uses. It transforms the ordinary message into an encrypted one so that even those involved in Man-in-the-middle attacks cannot decode the information successfully. Since it is also a complex system, it further toughens the overall security.
Can The Attacker try To Decode Data, even if SSL is installed?
Yes, that is possible; the attacker may infiltrate in the middle and try to decode data when they receive the certificate; this may be possible because they have the public key with the domain name in it. It is sent to any user looking to connect to the domain. As a result, these attackers can quickly get their hands on the certificate. But there is a plot twist.
The attacker may think that they can easily decode the data now that they have the SSL certificate. But they will fail to decrypt the information as the server owns the matching private key. Only the server can decrypt the information. If the server keeps the private key a secret, no attacker can decode the communication between the browser and the server.
As a result, if the attacker wants to use the certificate, they must own one of their own. Only then can they decrypt the private key? In this case, they must convince the CA to sign their certificate. But SSL is strong enough to detect and immediately act against a penetration. So, there is no reason to worry.
In another case, the attacker will attempt to offer their public key to the customer. But the signature will be destroyed, and it will detect a MiTM attack. That is precisely why the power of SSL stands unshakable against any type of cybercrime, including Man-in-the-middle attacks.
There are various types of MiTM attacks to know about; they may range from HTTPS spoofing, DNS spoofing, IP spoofing, and email hijacking. Wi-fi eavesdropping and cache poisoning are also famous Man-in-the-middle attacks to abstain from.
But no matter what type of Man-in-the-middle attack is being conducted on your website, the attacker will fail to decrypt the data due to the presence of the private key & warning detector that alerts the users of an attack. So, two parties can make seamless transactional communication and share confidential information without any worries. Login credentials, card details, and address proof can all be shared without any hassle.
Over the years, cases of many Man-in-the-middle attacks have been reported that signify the need for SSL on an urgent note.
When you buy SSL Certificate to secure your website, ensure that the SSL must be purchased from a trusted and genuine Certificate Authority (CA) such as Certera, Comodo, or Sectigo.
SSL acts as a secure connection to prevent Man-in-the-middle attacks. Strengthening the communication between a hosting server and the browser avoids many cyber-attacks. If yours is an e-commerce website, avoiding Man-in-the-middle attacks can be especially useful.