“Virtual Dispersive Networking” refers to a revolutionary technology which brought cyber security one step in front of hackers trying to access data transferred through different online methods.
While traditional methods of data information protect it at a firewall level, any data can be intercepted between firewalls, while it’s transmitted on the web. During that transport phase, data is most vulnerable. VDN technologies are 100% based on device software and current infrastructure, so no advanced setup is required. From a user perspective, it is as easy as downloading a legitimate software, available on different types of devices or even servers.
The biggest question that goes through everyone's mind is “What attacks does this security method stop?”. As previously mentioned, these attacks are common where data is most vulnerable, while it is transmitted between devices. They are more commonly referred on the web as “Man-In-The-Middle” or MiM attacks.
What does a MiM attack do?
To be able to play out this type of attack, three main characters are required:
One of the best examples for this type of attack is the usual spam email from your bank or a prince who wants to share his wealth with you. The user receives a very convincing email from such an entity through which he is notified that a breach has happened and he needs to update his security information. As already mentioned, this email already looks real, outside of the “From” email which is sending it. He is then invited to click on a big CTA (Call to Action) to update said security information and is quickly redirected to what seems to be a legitimate page from your bank or service provider. From there, only by clicking on that button, an attacker can have access to the user's device, and if that is not the target, through this fake login page, they can save your credentials, to later access said service.
To a trained eye, such fake pages can be easily detected from the URL or the general design, but for any normal web user who is under pressure of his private data being used, these small details usually cannot be seen.
These MiM attacks can have two major forms:
In the first case, the middleman just needs to access a free Wi-Fi hotspot with reduced security, these being found frequently in public places. Once he has access, using different tools, he can access and read data transmitted by the hotspot users. This situation becomes even more dangerous in the situation where the middleman attaches a tool in the connection, to receive all possible data which he can decode later.
The second type of attack, better known as “Man-in-the-browser”, uses different viruses and dangerous software that need to be installed in the target’s device. This attack, as being also mentioned in the example with the fake emails, allows the attacker access to track all data from that device, while also recording the keystrokes the user inputs, this way receiving all credentials without raising any suspicion.
How does a VDN?
A VDN system works on the same principle as military radios, principle through which transmissions are being split into multiple data packages and sent through different channels until the final device which has the capacity to reassemble all this data. While it is transmitted, they are encrypted using different methods, making it impossible to intercept all the correct data packages and putting them back together from another location other than the final device.
Other benefits that a VDN offers
Besides heightened security, a VDN also increases service quality through identification of attacks and also frees up a large portion of the bandwidth available, increasing the overall connecting speed to the web. Through identifying the attacks, the VDN is able to isolate the specific device which wants to intercept data and eliminate his entire access to the specific connection, making it impossible for him to navigate or use that specific connection.