Don’t be a victim of watering hole attacks

21 Jun 2021

blog

With cybercriminals continuously developing new ways to infiltrate networks and steal user data, it is more crucial than ever to stay one step ahead of these perpetrators. Protect yourself from one of the most common methods that cybercriminals use to inject malware into computers: watering hole attacks.

The term “watering hole” colloquially refers to a social gathering place where a particular group of people often go to. As internet users, we all have unique “watering holes” or websites that we visit frequently. A financial analyst, for example, is likely to visit websites related to financial investments and market trends.

In a watering hole attack, cybercriminals observe the watering holes of a specific demographic and infect their most visited websites with malware. Any user who has the misfortune of visiting any of these compromised sites will then have their computers automatically loaded with malware.

The malware used in these attacks usually collects the victim’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. In extreme cases, the hacker will actively take control of the infected computer.

But how does a cybercriminal choose which websites to hack? With internet tracking tools, hackers find out which websites companies and individual users visit the most. They then attempt to find vulnerabilities in those websites and embed them with malicious software.

Hackers these days are so highly skilled that they can exploit any website using a watering hole attack. In fact, even high-profile organizations like Facebook, Forbes, and the US Department of Labor have fallen prey to this scheme in recent years.

Protect yourself from watering hole attacks by doing the following:

Update your software

Watering hole attacks often exploit security gaps and vulnerabilities to infiltrate computers and networks. By updating all your software and browsers regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Make it a habit to check the software developer’s website for any security patches. Or better yet, hire a managed IT services provider to keep your system up to date.

Watch your network closely

Regularly conduct security checks using your network security tools to detect watering hole attacks. Use tools like intrusion prevention systems that allow you to detect and contain suspicious or malicious network activities before they can cause problems. Meanwhile, bandwidth management software will enable you to observe user behavior and detect abnormalities that could indicate an attack, such as large transfers of information or a high number of downloads.

Hide your online activities

Cybercriminals can create more effective watering hole attacks if they compromise websites only you and your employees frequent. As such, you should hide your online activities with a VPN and your browser’s private browsing feature. Also, block social media sites from your office network, as these are often used as share points of links to infected sites.

Staying informed is one of the best ways to stay protected. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, it pays to be vigilant and aware of the newest threats. Tune in to our blog to find out about the latest developments in security and to get more tips on how to keep your business safe.

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10100 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, United States

info@swiftchipinc.com 310-881-8770
Swift Chip, Inc.
5.0
Based on 9 reviews
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Adrianna SmithAdrianna Smith
01:52 27 May 22
The team at Swift Chip is responsive, knowledgeable, and super kind! Anytime I have an issue, they are quick to contact me back. Technology issues can be very overwhelming for a business owner, so having them on my team is super helpful to keeping my business operating smoothly!
Gary RotkopGary Rotkop
19:50 08 May 20
Very knowledgeable and professional staff that responded quickly, understood what I needed and resolved the issue economically. I had a very specific technical issue with an integration. Although AJ did not have specific knowledge of this very esoteric software, he managed to figure it out within minutes as we were discussing the problem. Very impressed. Thanks Swift Chip.
Udi BarkaiUdi Barkai
14:38 12 Oct 18
We have been working with SwiftChip for the last four years and have exceptional experience with these guys. In particular we would like to mention their extensive knowledge and outstanding customer service.
Keith R. SpragueKeith R. Sprague
10:46 22 Apr 16
Ken and his staff are great. They are very knowledgeable and always seem to have the answer. Highly Recommend...
Van HaasVan Haas
16:27 21 Oct 15
Ken May and his team at Swift Chip has always done a great job for me and the clients I refer. They are on the ball and are usually flexible with their schedule. They know their stuff and get it done right!
Tina Reed JohnsonTina Reed Johnson
16:46 25 Oct 12
Ken May is a very personable and responsive business owner, who is always ready to assist with computer and mobile issues. Swift Chip has the knowledge and know-how to get the job done, no matter how big or small.
Ken HowerKen Hower
14:03 09 Nov 11
Swift Chip worked on my wife's laptop and made it run better than ever...better than new! Pricing was more than reasonable...Call Ken May at Swift Chip...he's the man!!!
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VENTURA

2140 Eastman Ave, #104 Ventura, CA 93003, United States

info@swiftchipinc.com 805-318-8770
Swift Chip, Inc.
5.0
Based on 7 reviews
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Robert BrothersRobert Brothers
22:11 24 May 22
Best IT company I've worked with in the last 20 years. Highly recommended!
Kate BernabeKate Bernabe
00:52 16 Nov 21
Jim DeArklandJim DeArkland
22:34 20 Jun 21
always a positive experience!
Tiara PalazuelosTiara Palazuelos
15:11 18 Sep 20
They respond very quickly an are very professional! I'm very happy with the IT services they've provided!
Eric AndersonEric Anderson
17:25 06 May 19
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