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5 Common Ways How The User’s Sensitive Data is Compromised

  • Software testing
  • Mahendra Tallapaneni
  • February 18, 2019
  • Share ICon Share


No organization want their data stolen. Organizations are doing their best to protect sensitive data. However, hackers are coming up with new ways to steal important data. Listed below are 5 common ways how hackers steal user’s sensitive data.

  • Generic Vulnerabilities are present in any web applications and used by any person
  • Common Networking flaws/vulnerabilities appear when accessing any random web applications
  • Vulnerabilities appear when any general web application is integrated with any third party application
  • There can be issues explicitly exposed in social engineering that can be exploited when used
  • Exploits intentionally revealed from the source

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Generic Vulnerabilities Present in Web Applications Used by Any Person:

If a web application contains any vulnerability such as Injection, XSS (Cross Site Scripting), and CSRF (Cross Site Request Forgery) etc. then attackers can compromise the user’s application and get sensitive information about the user.

In recent times, attackers use different types of application cracking techniques to steal sensitive information from the application.

We can regularly perform Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Tests to identify the vulnerabilities in the application to help organizations avoid the data breaches.

Common Networking flaws/vulnerabilities When Accessing Web Applications:

Sometimes web application having zero vulnerability also lets attackers get into it with the help of network flaws.

Some of the ways to compromise application on the networks are by using Firewall bypassing, attack on Routers and DNS poisoning etc.

If attackers are able to bypass application servers on the hosted vulnerable network then they could equally compromise the application.

Vulnerabilities when the General web Application is Integrated with any third Party Application:

The third-party apps offer a huge amount of useful functionality to fulfill the end user’s business need, making the web app connected and app designing in an interactive way for the global market.

Security experts have warned users to be cautious about the level of access they offer third-party apps on smartphones and web apps as they run the risk of handing over their sensitive personal information to cyber crooks.

Most of the developers take help from third-party domains to complete their task during the development stage.

Some of the third-party vendors can be offering the scripts to reach specifications easy and in a quick way such as ads, trackers, analytics and social media buttons etc.

Hackers can affect the third-party providing links by malicious data passing through the links and scripts into the developer’s application environment.

However, if third-party domains are vulnerable would mean the developer’s application also get affected, and face difficulties.  So third-party domains code take many risks when merging into the developer’s application.

Issues explicitly in social engineering that can be exploited when used:

Recent times, attackers were sending malicious emails and messages to the mobile numbers to get the details of the user details.

In case users respond with details without validating to whom they are sending the details, that is clear exploitation.

One another way of data theft is getting the OTP and sensitive information such as bank details and credentials from the application users.

Major remediation for social engineering is educating the application end users to differentiate between trusted and untrusted email, messages, and calls from the unauthorized persons.

Intentionally revealing from the source:

Intentionally some organizations give user’s information to third-party organizations.

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As an example, Facebook allowed other vendors to use user’s details from the Facebook stored data.

Few frustrated employees and Ex-employees reveal the user’s/client’s sensitive information to take grudge on their employer/company.

Mahendra Tallapaneni

Senior Test Engineer, Having Good Exposure on Information Security.