A man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack refers to a strategy where a hacker secretly taps a communication line between two individuals to either eavesdrop or divert their line. An MitM is a common tactic among malicious actors who intend to steal their victim’s personal data, sabotage their line, or simply spy on them.
These attacks aren’t limited to insecure communication lines as there have been reports of attacks in the past that targeted blockchain networks and cryptocurrency holders. One attack reported showed that the MitM strategy was used to exploit the vulnerability of a hardware wallet application from Ledger to divert the funds of its victims to a different wallet address.
In this type of attack, a hacker gets in between peer-to-peer exchanges and tampers information regarding their transactions. Then, a malware-infected device revises the wallet destination address for any incoming transaction into the wallet of the attacker.
Stronger encryption has been purported as a way to prevent becoming a victim of MitM attacks.