What is a Backdoor and How to Protect your device from it?

In modern times, cybercriminals utilize their full potential to infiltrate into other systems for conducting malicious tasks. There are many ways through which it can be performed; one among those is the Backdoor Attack.

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In this guide, we will discuss what a Backdoor attack is, its types, why they are dangerous, and how to protect the system against Backdoor attacks.

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What is Backdoor Attack?

While performing a burglary, a thief takes advantage of the vulnerabilities of the house and get entry into it, bypassing the security. Backdoor attack on the computer system is quite similar.

Backdoor Attack

In cybersecurity terms, a Backdoor attack is a malicious way to bypass the security and infiltrate computer devices. Like the actual theft, a Backdoor attack allows the cyberattackers to go in and out of the system without being discovered by the security system of the device.

After the backdoor entry into the system, cybercriminals can get high-level access to the system and control it. Once control is taken, the attackers can freely perform the intended malicious tasks like gaining remote access, introducing additional malware, hacking the system, steal personal and financial data, and many more.

However, Backdoor is not always intended for criminals. We will see how.

Types of Backdoor

Basically, there are two primary types of Backdoors – Administrative Backdoors and Malicious Backdoors.

Administrative Backdoor

Backdoors are not necessarily be used for malicious purposes. Some of them are purposely designed by software makers to get access to their application’s code quickly. 

In case of application failure or while fixing any security or functionality bugs, the developer needs to conveniently reach the required codes as early as possible to fix it. Therefore, they intentionally create a backdoor at specific points for remote administration, diagnostics, troubleshooting, or system tests.

These intentional backdoors are a handy way for the application developers to address the issue. However, those can also benefit hackers. A skillful hacker can easily break into the system by finding out and exploiting the Administrative backdoors in an application.

So we can say that even the non-malicious backdoors are vulnerable to the system security as they can be exploited by cyberattackers. 

Malicious Backdoor

Malicious Backdoors are installed into the user’s device by cybercriminals through malware programs like Remote Acess Trojan (RAT). A RAT is a malware that gives hackers the opportunity to monitor and take control of the system. Using a RAT, cybercriminals can introduce the backdoors into the computer.

A RAT gets an entry on a device by deceiving the users to download it. It can also enter through malicious email attachments, infected software or game, or by visiting the malicious links.

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How does Backdoor Works?

As already stated, a Backdoor can enter your system in two ways either intentionally by software or hardware manufacturers or through malware programs like RAT.

After the Backdoor is set on any system, it is now ready to welcome the intruders. The first thing attackers do is install a rootkit into the system. A rootkit is a pack of malicious code designed to hide the internet activities on the system and avoid any sort of malware detection. Basically, rootkit act as a stopper for the backdoor so that infiltrators can freely come and go through it without opening and closing it again and again. 

After the rootkit is installed, the backdoor act as a gateway for the cybercriminals to perform their malicious tasks on the corrupted system. They can stealthily access your system anytime, steal private data, and perform other wicked tasks.

Why are Backdoors dangerous?

Till now, you might have understood what havoc a backdoor can create on your system. Even the intentional backdoors created in the software are dangerous and invites cyberattacks. 

Here is the list of what infiltrators can do on your system through Backdoor:

  • Hackers can use it for installing dangerous malware such as Spyware, Ransomware, cryptojackers, and others.
  • DDoS attacks can be conducted through backdoors.
  • Cyberattackers can take control of your system through a backdoor for crypto-mining.
  • Hackers can change crucial computer settings like administrator passwords and user credentials.
  • Steal the essential data
  • Use the internet for downloading and uploading files
  • Run tasks and apps

The thing that makes Backdoor dangerous is its undetectability. It can infiltrate your system, and you won’t even know your privacy is being exploited by it. It can keep working as a secret entrance to your device for months or even years without being exposed.

How to protect your device from Backdoors?

Though it is challenging to detect the backdoors, there are some ways through which you can protect your device from it.

Change your Default Password

There are times when you get access to an account that comes with a weak default password like “1234” or “qwerty.” Many users never bother to change this default password and keep using it. In such a case, this account can become a backdoor for cybercriminals to infiltrate. Even a novice hacker can crack such a password and stealthily access your account whenever needed. It is advised to change the default password of your account as soon as possible.

Use an Antimalware

Backdoor usually get entry through malware programs like RAT. To detect and remove such malware, your system should be equipped with a robust antimalware solution like MalwareFox. 

MalwareFox is reliable security software that promises to protect your system and helps to handle malware and viruses. MalwareFox will scans, detect, and remove Malware and offers real-time protection. It also protects your PC from the most dangerous malware such as Trojans, Ransomware, Zero-Day Attack protection, Grayware, Keyloggers, etc.

  1. Download Malwarefox and install it.
  2. Perform a full system scan to get rid of every malware that is troubling your system.MalwareFox Antimalware

Monitor your Network

Suppose you suspect unusual activities on your network like a massive amount of data usage, slow browsing and downloading speed, internet getting down regularly, and other such irregularities. In that case, there might be a Backdoor present on your system, and the intruder is using it for accessing your internet. Regularly monitor the network on your system for detecting such irregularities. You can also use a network monitoring tool for that.

Use a Firewall

A good Firewall tracks the incoming and outgoing internet activities across your system. Firewalls block unauthorized access to your system. Therefore, it is recommended to keep the Firewall ON all the time on your computer.

Be Cautious while installing Apps and Plugins

It is evident that cyberattackers inject their malicious codes in the apps, web extensions, and plugins. So, whenever you want to install a new app, extension, or plugin, make sure that it is verified. Check its user reviews and manufacturer’s reputation. Such information is readily available on the internet.

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Bottom Line

In 2020 there were 650+ million new malware applications founded, and out of those, backdoors were the 4th highest detected. Clearly, you can’t take them lightly. Take all the necessary steps to protect your device from such a malicious attack as it can cause you financial as well as mental troubles too. It is also possible that you are using a loosely developed application that is acting as a backdoor. Do inspect your applications and always go for the verified and authentic ones.

What is an example of a backdoor program?

A well-known backdoor example is called FinSpy. When installed on a system, it enables the attacker to download and execute files remotely on the system the moment it connects to the internet, irrespective of the system’s physical location.

What is the difference between a backdoor and a Trojan?

A trojan is a type of malware that acts as a legitimate program to trick the recipient into running it. Whereas a backdoor is a gateway through which cyber attackers can perform malicious tasks on the system like introducing malware or stealing private data.

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