What is Eavesdropping Attack: How to Prevent Eavesdropping Attacks

Haseeb Awan
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April 12, 2023

Introduction to Eavesdropping

Like computers, mobile phones are vulnerable hotspots for hackers as they have great potential for data breaches and theft. Besides many safety and privacy challenges regarding mobile phones, many people believe smartphones listen to conversations and even spy on them. With advanced capabilities like computers, smartphones are exploited for data theft and eavesdropping.

Let's dive a bit deeper and learn about an eavesdropping attack.

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What is Eavesdropping Attack?

Whether we call, send messages, share data, or browse the web, we assume and expect complete privacy while using cell phones. But the fact is that anyone could be eavesdropping without our knowledge.

An eavesdropping attack allows a hacker to intercept communication between two devices, enabling easy access to private information. 

How Does The Eavesdropping Attack Work?

To further explain, the eavesdropping attack happens when a user connects to an unsecured network and shares vulnerable business data with a co-worker. The data, travelling through an unsecured network, is exploited using encryption tools to analyze and decrypt data and use it for malicious purposes.

For instance, devices like laptops and cell phones with microphones can be remotely accessed and hacked, and an attacker can send data to anyone. VoIP or Voice over IP calls can be recorded and stored using protocol analyzers and converted audio files.

Since eavesdropping detection is difficult, it poses a significant threat to businesses.

What are The Types of Eavesdropping Attacks?

Cell phone security depends on the user, and even the most cautious user often falls prey to malicious cyber-attack. The best way to protect yourself and your essential data are to learn about different types of eavesdropping attacks and then take preventive measures to deal with them.

Passive eavesdropping and active eavesdropping are the two types of eavesdropping attacks. 

Passive Eavesdropping:

In passive eavesdropping, the attacker listens to digital conversations. VoIP or voice over the internet is an example of a passive eavesdropping attack.

Active Eavesdropping:

Active eavesdropping attacks let hackers imitate websites where online users can share personal data and information. An attacker using a sniffing program only gathers the data of its target. MITM attack or man-in-the-middle attack is an example of an active eavesdropping attack. The data is captured, modified and sent to other devices.

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What is the Objective of Eavesdropping Attack?

The primary purpose of an eavesdropping attack is to hack into an organization's system and gain access to collect business information or crucial financial information. The accessed data is then sold to competitors or exchanged for valuable information.

What are The Different Eavesdropping Methods?

Detecting an eavesdropping attack is difficult as the attack may have occurred without disrupting cell phone activity. An eavesdropping attack is successful only if the connection between the two devices is weak or the server used to communicate is not protected. Attackers can easily steal the transmitted data if the network between the receiving and transmitting devices is vulnerable.

Let's look at different eavesdropping methods hackers and cybercriminals use to exploit network data.

Data Sniffing

Data sniffing is used to target organizations and businesses that use local networks. Since all communications within the network are sent to network ports, hackers can access the system and steal data. 

Pickup Device

Attackers use gadgets like audio or video to record sounds or images and turn them into electrical configurations for eavesdropping on the target.

Some listening devices store complex data and share it with a listening port. Assailants connect a microphone to a small amplifier that filters out background noise.

Transmission Link

Transmission link is another method of eavesdropping attacks. In this method, a transmission link or interface between two devices (sender and recipient) is tapped to eavesdrop.

Listening Port

Assailants use the listening port method to communicate discussions acquired by viruses on phones. Listening posts are easily found everywhere to spy on and record all actions. A voice-activated gadget is used to record the presence of activity.

Open Networks

Clients who communicate with companies that do not require a password and do not use encryption to share sensitive data offer attackers the best possible environment for eavesdropping.

What Does Eavesdropping Mean For Your Business?

According to the statistics, more than 37% of smartphones worldwide have become the target of eavesdropping. Due to COVID-19, remote working has increased the cost of data breaches. 

When employers are allowed to work remotely, hackers have several factors at their disposal for the attack, such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, and computers. According to the study, less than 3% of businesses take security measures to protect employees' mobile phones, making the organization an easy target for cybercriminals. 

Eavesdropping attacks can lead to the loss of crucial business data and information. Snooping on users' privacy could lead to data breaches, virus attacks, and identity theft. 

Business owners need to organize a training program to educate employees about phishing scams and provide awareness about other security loopholes, ensuring IoT devices' security.

The Eavesdropping attack, if not detected and stopped early, can have an undesired impact on business:

Financial damage

Eavesdropping attacks let hackers invade the company's sensitive data, such as business secrets or user passwords. Hackers can exchange illegally gained information for financial gains. 

In addition, loss of the company's data could damage the company's reputation, resulting in loss of customers and eventually leading to financial loss.

Identity theft

Attackers can eavesdrop on the conversation by apps that users often expect to be secured. Eavesdropping attack gives hackers access to critical information that they could use to steal credentials and strike with extensive identity theft attacks.

Loss of Privacy

Data theft leads to loss of privacy for businesses and people working in the organization. The attacker can intercept important business information and conversations by injecting an eavesdropping attack on cell phones that causes privacy loss for businesses.

How to Prevent Eavesdropping Attacks

As with most security concerns, prevention is better than cure. Here's how you can stop eavesdropping on your cell phone:

  • Think carefully about what data you should store on your device. Know that attackers can use sophisticated hacking apps to access your mobile stored information.
  • Be cautious when installing the application on your cell phone—research the application and check what permissions are required. Malicious apps often disguised with an attractive package carry Trojan horse virus code.
  • Avoid connecting to unknown WiFi networks, and do not use public WiFi networks. Attackers create fake WiFi hotspots to hack mobile phones. 
  • You should enable encryption on your home and office WiFi network.

Aside from these preventive measures, business owners and organizations should invest in mobile phone security services like Efani. 

Efani provides its subscribers with guaranteed protection from eavesdropping attacks, SIM swapping, and asset security by eliminating vulnerabilities.

Want Guaranteed Protection Against SIM Swap? Reach Out to Us.

Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or haseebawan@efani.com for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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