18 Jul What is a Baiting Attack?
Hackers are always looking for inventive ways to steal data and money. But on occasion, they go back to the well and use a technique that’s already been proven. One old-school, but still effective technique that you may have not heard of is called “baiting.”
In a baiting attack, hackers leave “bait” for users to find and open. This bait is usually in the form of an email attachment or a links to a website. But in some cases, it can be a physical object like a USB drive.
When a user takes the bait, they unknowingly unleash malware onto their computers or devices. This malware can infect the entire system and give hackers access to sensitive data. It can also allow them to take control of the device entirely.
What is Baiting in Cyber Security?
Baiting is a cyber security term for a social engineering attack.
The most common type of baiting attack uses USB drives as bait. For example, a hacker might drop a USB drive in a parking lot or near a building entrance. If someone finds the drive and plugs it into their computer, they could infect their system with malware.
Baiting attacks can also be carried out using email attachments or links. For example, a hacker might send an email with an infected attachment or link to a malicious website. If the victim opens the attachment or clicks on the link, they could infect their system with malware.
Baiting Attack Example
One widely publicized example of a baiting attack occurred in 2010, when hackers targeted Siemens industrial control systems.
The German company said that malware is a Trojan worm dubbed Stuxnet that spreads via infected USB thumb drives, exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system.
How to Protect Yourself from Baiting Attacks
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from baiting attacks:
- Be cautious of free items in public places. If you ever find a USB drive or other device in a public place, don’t plug it into your computer. The same goes for email attachments and links. If you’re not expecting an attachment or link, don’t open it.
- Install anti-malware software. Anti-malware software can detect and remove malware from your computer. Make sure to keep your software up to date so that it can protect you against the latest threats.
- Back up your data. Baiting attacks can lead to data loss. To protect your data, make sure to back it up regularly. That way, if you do lose data due to a baiting attack, you’ll be able to restore it from your backup.
By following these steps, you can protect yourself from baiting attacks and other malware threats. For more information on how to protect yourself, read our guide: The Best Defense Against Social Engineering Attacks.