Startups are subject to cyber attacks — MiTM Case Study

What happened?

The researchers used a machine-in-the-middle proxy (MitM) to read the app’s communications which represent the database queries. Using an authorization token stored in the app, they could connect directly to the startup company server and query the database.

  1. DB Injection.

Why had it happened?

Securing a cyber system stands for securing all system parts. We can see that the researchers exploited two vulnerabilities to extract the user’s data:

  1. Un-immune database: When the researchers managed to communicate to the server pretending to be the victim using their machine, they used a common database attack called “injection”. It happens when an attacker injects an SQL query within a standard HTML text that is submitted to the server. The startup company server failed to recognize the submitted text as normal text and accordingly passed the SQL query to the database server which responded immediately with the query result (the company users’ data in this case).

How to fix it!

In this startup case to avoid the authorization flaw, we see here that any system structure should always consider a proper token session time-out, also, linking any token to the original device MAC address is an essential matter to maintain identity assurance.

Final remarks

We might agree that the adversaries in this particular case may not be interested in what their neighbors ordered for lunch or whether they received their order on time or not. However, the records revealed by the data leakage could be accessible by criminals of e-mail address/phone scammers who find themselves knowing someone’s correct identification information like name and address. Also, some customer support agencies often ask for the last four digits of the bank account to confirm the caller’s identity, consequently, we can see how easy it is for hackers to launch stalking attacks after obtaining this data.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
SRC - Security, Risk, Compliance

SRC - Security, Risk, Compliance

Beratung, um Security, Risk und Compliance bei Ihnen als Enabler für das Business zu etablieren.