What is a Watering Hole Attack?

Many cyberattacks happen because the victims clicked on something. An action by the victim starts the attack.

What if, though, all the victim had to do was visit a website they always go to? This is a Watering Hole Attack. It’s a cyber attack strategy.

Although this attack is rare, it can cause severe damage.

What is a Watering Hole Attack?

In this, a cybercriminal will try to compromise a group of users. They infect a website with malware, which the victims are known to visit. Once the malware is open in the computer, the hackers gain access to the target’s computer and organization’s network.

Anyone can be the victim of this. Motives behind these attacks, many times, are unclear.

The attacker will profile the target, and determine the type of website they frequent. They could use an email, to direct victims to the website.

Any individual, organization, or even government office can be a target. They also happen on a country-level.

The term Watering Hole comes from hunting. In the wild, instead of tracking a prey, the hunter will determine where the prey is more likely to go. This happens to be a body of water — the “watering hole” — and the hunter waits there.

Hackers might target highly secure organizations, through their less security-conscious employees.

Defense Against It

A Watering Hole Attack requires an element of luck, because of which it’s an uncommon attack.

But, it’s a lethal attack if it works. It’s very difficult to detect. And when it works, it breaches several layers of security, and cause a lot of destruction. Because of this, it’s important to know how to defend against this form of attack.

  • Educate Everyone: Knowing about any attack is the first step to active prevention. Let your employees and colleagues know about this attack.
  • Train your users: Training people to detect odd behaviour is the best way to avoid data breach.
  • Don’t trust third-party sites: Do not give third-party sites automatic access. Or at least monitor them frequently to avoid attack.
  • Use a VPN: Hiding IP addresses is a great way to hide your profile from any attackers.

Being on the internet is always a risk. Even a web-host like GoDaddy’s data can be breached. It’s on the users to take precautions and proceed as safely as possible.

manorinfinity Written by:

Complex Problem Solver, Outloud Thinker, An Outstanding Writer, and a very curious human being

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