How to Protect Users from Web-Browser Attacks?

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How to Protect Users from Web-Browser Attacks?

Web-Browser Attacks

Software applications are being widely used by users for both personal and professional use. More specifically, web-applications have also become the heart of businesses, and the increasing security issues may cause them harm. Web-browsers threats or online threats are one of the most common and popular ways for cyber-criminals to cause damage. It is quite obvious how exposed web browsers can be due to the sensitive information they contain, such as credit card details, passwords, etc. These threats also include a range of malicious programs that are designed to damage victims’ systems. Attackers may use the exploit jack which allows them to route an attack to infect computers. These attacks can only be successful under the following circumstances:

  • If they do not have placed any security checks.
  • If they contain a vulnerable operating system or application. Sometimes, a user has not upgraded an application, or the software vendor still has to issue a new patch. 

What exactly is a Web-based Attack?

Web-based attacks include the compromise of browsers and their extensions, websites, and IT components or infect systems with malware. Malicious attackers take advantage of browser third-party plug-ins like Flash, JavaScript, and ActiveX, as there are no files for the security system, and monitoring user behavior may leave room for exposing sensitive information. There are numerous businesses that have been afflicted by breaches caused by malicious code injected into their websites. A pen testing company can help a firm in identifying vulnerabilities in their security systems and provide remediation tips to effectively address them, in case of a security breach. 

Common Browser Attacks

Web attacks can be executed in a number of ways. Attackers often use social engineering to persuade users to take actions that generate an attack. Let’s have a look at some common browser attacks that prevail in the software industry:

Plug-ins and Extensions:

We know that most browsers support third-party plug-ins or extensions. These are from reputable vendors, however, they can include malicious code. In some circumstances, legit plug-ins may also contain some security flaws that can be targeted by attackers. By exploiting such vulnerabilities attackers can install ransomware, breach data, or perform other actions to affect a business negatively. A business can strengthen its security by limiting their plugin downloads. In case they need to download a plugin, it is crucial to check if it is powered by a legitimate company. 

Drive-by Downloads:

This type of attack simply requires a user to visit a malicious site or a legitimate one that has been compromised. It automatically downloads malicious content to an endpoint without any user interaction. These vulnerabilities can be in the operation systems, browsers, etc. that allow an attacked to gain control and eventually download the malicious code. This attack can also be in the form of malvertising, where fake ads containing malware are displayed on a website. Ad platforms so have screening mechanisms but the security loopholes allow attackers to find their way out. Enterprises can prevent these attacks by encouraging their employees to keep their software up to date. It allows them to download any pending security patches or upgrades. 

Man-in-the-Browser (MITB) Attacks: 

In this type of attack, malicious attackers use a Trojan to infect the victim’s browser and modify the information as it is exchanged between the browser interface and the internet. Browsing and transactions take place normally, but the malware exists between the web app and the user’s browser, capturing and sending sensitive information to the attacker. It can modify the webpage appearance, and inject form fields to capture additional information to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. This type of attack allows attackers to steal personal information such as login credentials, account details, etc. Since hackers can easily evade outdated methods like domain reputation, firms use the latest detection technology to detect malicious sites in real-time. 

Adware:

Typically, attackers install adware along with a free program, or it also comes with a drive-by-download. Adware is much more than just an attack. It can cause great damage by collecting user information, hijacking the browser, and redirecting it to unknown websites, which may or may not look like malicious download links. Additionally, attackers are also incorporating adware with more sophisticated techniques to penetrate operating systems and attack the security defenses. 

Crypto-Mining:

Crypto mining is a process of verifying the encrypted cryptocurrency transactions. Miners receive a small amount of cryptocurrency in return. Businesses are reporting to have experienced an exponential increase in these types of attacks. So in a typical browser-based attack, the attacker injects coin-mining JavaScript into a website, which runs in the victim’s systems. The compromised sites can continue mining even after the browser is closed by using a hidden pop-under window. This generally does not pose threat to IP security, but it can slow business operations, increase the CPU usage and other resources, resulting in increasing their costs. 

UI-Redress Attack:

This attack is also known as clickjacking that is designed to trick a user into clicking on a button or link that enables a malicious action. The attacker uses hidden malicious code to disguise the real action whereas the user thinks they are clicking on something safe. 

Prevent Web-Based Attacks with Penetration Testing 

A pen testing company helps businesses protect their browsers by identifying vulnerabilities and adding a memory defense layer that prevents the attack from ever compromising a business’s sensitive information. This can stop browser-based threats even before they can penetrate a system or gain access to a business’ network, frees app installer from adware, function seamlessly across various IT environments, and without any alteration to the app interface. 

About The Author

Hiba Sulaiman has been working in the domains of technical and SEO-based content for more than a combined experienced four years. She generates content for digital marketing purposes including blogs & articles, newsletters, etc. Her educational background includes a degree in the Masters of Business Administration (HR). She has developed her writing skills over the passage of years by servicing in educational writing ever since she graduated from college. She enjoys developing creative content for different services.

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