A man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack is a cyberattack in which an attacker intercepts communication between two parties who believe they are speaking directly. In such attacks, the attacker places themselves between both parties and can read, alter, or inject malicious code into their conversation without either party knowing.
On a mobile device, a man-in-the-middle attack can occur when an attacker gains access to a user’s Wi-Fi network or creates a fake one with the same name as a legitimate one, then intercepts traffic between it and the internet. The attacker can then read and modify data sent between the device and server, potentially stealing sensitive information such as access credentials or financial information.
Man-in-the-middle attacks can also occur through malicious software installed on a mobile device, such as malware or spyware. This software can intercept communication between the device and the internet and send it to an attacker.
To protect mobile devices against man-in-the-middle attacks, users should exercise caution when connecting to Wi-Fi networks, especially public ones, and always utilize secure communication protocols like HTTPS. Furthermore, using a virtual private network (VPN) adds another layer of protection by encrypting all traffic between the device and the internet. Moreover, keeping one’s operating system and apps up-to-date helps mitigate known vulnerabilities from being exploited by attackers.