Backdoor Attacks

We all have heard, and perhaps even been a victim of a Cyberattack (hopefully that is not the case).  Some of the most common types of attacks that we hear of today are things like Phishing, Ransomware, Insider Threats, etc.  But there is another one that lurks out there, which has not appeared too much in the news headlines.  That is Backdoor Attacks, and they are the focal point of this article.

What Is A Backdoor Attack?

This happens when the Cyberattacker deploys a malicious payload on the backend of a system.  Through this, they will attempt to gain access to whatever they can via bypassing all of the normal authentication and authorization methods.  So rather than trying to waste time in hijacking your password, the Cyberattacker will try to penetrate in this “brute force” way so that they can get in as quickly as possible, without being noticed.

These kinds of attacks are usually launched remotely, and the malicious payload often tends to be a worm, a virus, or even a Trojan Horse.  Of course, the intent of the Cyberattacker in these instances may not be to steal information/data or cause damage in any way.  But rather, they may be just curious to see what your IT/Network Infrastructure looks like, or perhaps even launch a reconnaissance mission of sorts.

How A Backdoor Attack Is Launched

This is illustrated in the diagram below:

First, the Cyberattacker launches a malicious payload that is actually deployed onto a covert, Remote Access Server.  Second, once this has been installed, he or she can then use this to leverage access to the IT/Network Infrastructure of the unsuspecting victim.  As stated earlier, the malicious payload does not have to be deployed directly onto the infrastructure. It is all done remotely, and in fact, by using a Remote Access Server,  the Cyberattacker is able to cover their tracks even more.

The Types Of Backdoor Attacks

The following are some of the major types of attacks that can occur:

  • Cryptojacking:

This is when the processing and computing power of a device are covertly hijacked in order to illegally mine for various cryptocurrencies.

  • DoS/DDoS:

These are acronyms that stand for “Denial of Service” and “Distributed Denial of Service” attacks, respectively.  In this situation, the Cyberattacker constantly floods a server with malformed data packets in order to literally bring it down to its knees.  Once the server is rendered incapable, this is the perfect time to deploy a virus or a worm as a backdoor.  Note that the goal here  is to not actually destroy the server, but to render it to a point that it is so low that it can no longer effectively give out shared resources to the end users.

  • Spyware:

This is a kind of malicious payload that will not only act as a backdoor, but it will hijack passwords and other sensitive data automatically to the Cyberattacker.

  • Trojan Horses:

This is sort of a threat variant that actually looks quite harmless to the end user.  For example, a Trojan Horse can appear as a card game, but in reality, it is a backdoor that is secretly recording the keystrokes, and transmitting that back to the Remote Access Server to be collected and further analyzed by the Cyberattacker.

  • The IoT:

This is also an acronym that stands for the “Internet of Things”.  This is a kind of technology where all of the objects that we interact with on a daily basis in both the physical and virtual worlds are all interconnected together.  Although this does provide some advantages, it is loaded with security flaws.  First, the connections are not encrypted.  Second, the devices manufactured by the vendors offer no real security mechanisms.  All that is offered is merely the use of a password, and when an end user procures an IoT device, they never change the default password to a much stronger one.  So with all of these risks, IoT devices are also a “green pasture” for backdoors to be installed onto.


You may be asking at this point, how you can avoid becoming a victim of a Backdoor Attack?  Unfortunately, everybody is at risk, whether it is an individual or a business.  All that can be done is to mitigate the risk from it actually happening.  The best advice here is to simply follow good Cyber Hygiene practices, never give out your passwords, use a Password Manager, and make sure that if you do purchase an IoT device, change the password immediately to a stronger one before you make use of it.

If you have any questions about this, or need any help, contact us today.