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What is an Eavesdropping Attack – Types, Methods, Impact, & Prevention

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What is an Eavesdropping Attack

Eavesdropping attacks, also known as snooping or sniffing attacks, are a severe worry regarding cyber security. Due to such attacks, stealing credentials, credit card information, and other vulnerable information becomes easy while being transmitted from sender to recipient’s device. As they use unprotected data transmission to obtain information when its consumer is sending it, these sorts of threats are the most effective since they do not raise any alert during the transfer of data. Eavesdropping attacks are disturbing since they are hard to detect. Once a device is connected, users may unintentionally provide sensitive data to hackers, such as username and password, bank details, browsing patterns, or personal or business emails.


Let’s assume you are a remote employee sending sensitive business data to his colleagues over a public network. However, your data is silently infiltrated by a cyber attacker on the unprotected public network. The hacker now installs software to eavesdrop on the internet traffic and collect all crucial data. It is a classic example of an eavesdropping attack. Such attacks can lead to financial losses, identity fraud, or breach of privacy, among other things.


Eavesdropping Attack Definition 

Eavesdropping happens when an attacker intercepts, erases or alters data sent to recipients’ devices. Eavesdropping, also referred to as snooping or sniffing, depends heavily on unprotected network communications to use this transmitted data between devices.


Types of Eavesdropping Attack

There are two types of eavesdropping attacks:

Active Eavesdropping

The attacker only “listens” to data as it travels through the system.

Passive Eavesdropping

The attacker impersonates a website where clients would generally share sensitive information\


Eavesdropping Methods

There are various methods to intrude a private conversation, chat, or email through an eavesdropping attack. Here are a few ways hackers use to eavesdrop.

  1. Attackers use devices to collect images or sounds from connected headsets and cameras. Then attackers convert these photos and audio/video recordings into an electrical format to spy on victims. Hackers may also employ mini amplifiers to reduce ambient noise.
  2. A transmission link between the sender and recipient’s device is tapped to eavesdrop. Radiofrequency data transfer can easily accomplish or through a wire that could include active or unused phone lines, electric cables, or ill-founded electrical transmission lines. Several transmitters can run indefinitely, but another option is to use remote stimulation.
  3. When hackers install viruses on mobiles to listen in private conversations, this is referred to as a listening post. It uses trigger points to monitor when a phone call is made or received, and it turns off instantly when the session ends. Listening posts are protected zones where these transmissions are surveilled. They have voice-activated devices to eavesdrop on and log all interactions.
  4. Hackers can quickly gain unauthorised credentials to access private accounts if weak credentials are used. It allows them to gain access to corporate network systems. Hackers take full advantage of this by gaining access to sensitive communication channels, eavesdropping on interaction, and listening to colleagues’ discussions in stealing valuable corporate information.
  5. Subscribers who connect to public unsecured networks (do not need a password or use encryption to transmit data) offer a perfect environment for hackers to snoop. Hackers can easily track user behaviour and listen in on communication networks.

Impact of Eavesdropping Attack

Eavesdropping attacks often result in the loss of confidential business data, intercepting users’ privacy, resulting in identity theft and even more significant attacks.


The growing use of virtual assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa is an excellent example of the power that eavesdropping can now have. Such assistants make users’ lives better, but they are also quick for hackers to eavesdrop on and steal personal information.


The eavesdropping attack has many grave impacts on your business. Some of those are:


Privacy Loss

Stealing sensitive information could jeopardise the confidentiality of users and businesses. Eavesdropping allows hackers to access critical business information, interactions, and transactions that affect users’ privacy.

Financial Loss

  • Malicious hackers can profit from accessing classified data such as business data, company secrets, or login passwords. It involves selling the information to competitors or third parties and keeping organisations or people hostage by preventing data access in the form of a Ransomware attack. Moreover, any loss of data puts the company’s business in jeopardy, which could lead to business loss and, as a direct consequence, financial damage.

Identity Theft

Eavesdropping hackers can hear in on discussions that take place within apps that users believe to be reliable. As a result, they may unintentionally reveal confidential material hackers could use to steal their login details and carry out more extensive identity frauds.

How to Prevent Eavesdropping Attack?

Here are a few easy and fool-proof ways to prevent eavesdropping attacks:

  • Use VPN
  • Do not connect to unsecured public WiFi.
  • Secure your phone by using strong passwords and always modify your password every month or two.
  • Do not repeat passwords. Use unique passwords for every application.
  • Install antivirus apps on your phone and computers and keep them updated.
  • Never click on spammy links or emails.
  • Protect your pc with antivirus and keep it updated.¬†
  • Always upgrade your phone software as soon as you receive an update.
  • Install a firewall for enhanced security.
  • Never download apps from verified sellers on Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Subscribe to Efani’ SAFE and protect your phone number from eavesdropping and other cyber threats such as location tracking, SIM swap, and more.
  • Get yourself military-grade encryption to secure your device against an eavesdropping attack.


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