Remote Desktop Hacking

Remote Desktop Services offer the ability for companies to leverage resources and improve productivity levels. While users can remotely log into the network, companies can benefit from an increase in operational efficiency. Moreover, RDP services come built-in with Windows OS. However, remote desktop hacking has become the topic of the day in recent times. As the number of remote connections is growing, so is the number of hacking attempts. Be it identity theft or data spying, open RDP ports invite hacking attacks. Therefore, it is important for businesses to understand vulnerabilities in the RDP technology and how you can secure your remote networks.

How RDP networks can be hacked?

While there are different ways to hack an RDP network, the most common one is to use an IP scanner. There are several IP scanning applications such as Angry IP scanner, which are available for free. After downloading the software, hackers choose port 3389 to scan a range of IP addresses. After the application displays a list of IP addresses, hackers choose one server and then copy the IP address of that address. Now, if you type MSTSC in the Run dialog box, it opens a remote desktop connection window. After you enter the IP address and click on connect, it asks for the username and password. Hackers try different passwords to get a connection. There are certain passwords that are most commonly used. If these passwords do not work, hackers apply brute force to break through the connection. Once a connection is established, hackers gain access to critical information.

DUBrute is an example of a hacking tool used by criminals to attack RDP vulnerabilities for ransom-ware. This tool allows hackers to use dictionary attacks and manually inject malware into RDP networks using port 3389 to perform activities like encrypting data, locking users or deleting backups. Companies then have to pay a huge ransom to get the malware removed.

Who are mostly affected?

Statistics reveal that financial institutions have experienced greater levels of damage due to RDP hacking. Hackers who gained access to banking networks have transferred large amounts of money, taking extreme advantage of RDP vulnerabilities. However, companies of all sizes are vulnerable to ransom-ware attacks. It’s also interesting to note that systems which do not contain critical data can still be used as a tool to hack other computers.

How to prevent remote desktop hacking?

While hackers are constantly exploring ways to enter into remote networks, companies need to create a strong security policy to protect remote networks. Imposing SSL based authentication for remote connections is a good start. The remote computer has to present a valid certificate before seeking a remote connection. Network layer authentication requires each connection to be authenticated by the remote desktop session host server. In addition to choosing a security layer, you can select the encryption level, too. However, while choosing FIPS or high encryption levels, you need to make sure that all clients support your encryption levels. While offering remote desktop web access or RD gateway, you need to make sure that proper group policies are in force.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

One comment on “Prevent Remote Desktop Hacking on Your Network