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How Hackers Target Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP)

How Hackers Target Remote Desktop Protocols (RDPs) - keyboard key with lock

Did you know that hackers often target remote desktop protocols (RDP) in order to gain access to company data? If your business doesn’t have adequate cyber security measures in place, you could be at risk of being hacked.

CRT Network Solutions is an IT support specialist with a comprehensive understanding of cyber and IT security for businesses. We have developed, in-house, security systems that can protect businesses from RDP hacking as well as audit existing IT security systems to identify loopholes or weak points.

First and foremost, however, businesses need to be aware of how a RDP is targeted and hacked. Here’s how it works…

What is a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)?

An RDP is used to allow remote access to a computer or server. They are widely used by businesses as they provide a convenient way for employees to work remotely. An RDP is also used by IT support specialists to remotely access and fix computer systems.

In Australia and since the onset of COVID-19, RDP has become increasingly popular as more businesses allow their employees to work from home.


How do Hackers Target a RDP?

There are a few ways that hackers can target a RDP:

1. Brute force attacks – this is where hackers use a program to guess the username and password for the RDP. The program tries different combinations until it finds the correct one. This type of attack is often successful if the username and password are not strong enough.

2. Man-in-the-middle attacks – this is where hackers intercept communications between the user and the RDP server. They can then access sensitive data such as login details and financial information.

3. Phishing attacks – this is where hackers send emails that look like they are from a legitimate company, such as Microsoft. The email will contain a link to a fake login page that the hacker has created. If the user enters their login details on this page, the hacker will then have access to their account.

4. Malware attacks – this is where hackers install malware on the user’s computer which allows them to gain remote access to the RDP. They can then use this access to steal data or infect the server with ransomware.


How Hackers Target Remote Desktop Protocols (RDPs) - login screen on laptop


Why is a RDP Attack so Harmful for Businesses?

If a hacker is successful in gaining access to a RDP, they can cause serious damage to a business. They could:

  • Steal sensitive data such as customer details and financial information
  • Delete or encrypt important files
  • Infect the server with ransomware which could prevent employees from being able to work
  • Use the RDP to gain access to other parts of the network and wreak havoc


How Can Businesses Protect Themselves from RDP Hacking?

There are a few steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from RDP hacking, such as:

1. Use two-factor authentication – this adds an extra layer of security as the user will need to enter a code that is sent to their mobile phone in order to log in. This means that even if the hacker knows the username and password, they won’t be able to log in without the code.

2. Use a VPN – a virtual private network encrypts all communications between the user and the RDP server. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept communications or steal data.

3. Use strong passwords – this is the first line of defence against brute force attacks. The username and password for the RDP should be at least 8 characters long and contain a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.

4. Install anti-virus software – this will help to protect the user’s computer from malware attacks.

5. Be aware of phishing attacks – businesses should educate their employees about phishing attacks and what to look out for. They should also have a process in place for reporting suspicious emails.

By taking these steps, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of being hacked via an RDP. However, it’s important to remember that no security measure is 100% effective and hackers are constantly finding new ways to gain access to systems. This is why it’s so important for businesses to regularly review their cyber security measures and make sure they are up-to-date.


How Hackers Target Remote Desktop Protocols (RDPs) - IT security alert on mobile phone


How a Cyber and IT Security Audit Can Prevent Hacking

CRT Network Solutions offers a comprehensive cyber and IT security audit which can identify any weak points in a business’s system. We will assess the current security measures in place and make recommendations for improvements. We can also provide guidance on how to implement these measures and train employees on best practices for cyber security.

Our in-house developed security systems offer businesses a high level of protection against RDP hacking and other cyber threats. Our team of experts are always up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and trends, so you can be confident that your business is safe.


How Hackers Target Remote Desktop Protocols (RDPs) - person using 2FA on mobile phone


If you would like to find out more about our cyber and IT security services, please get in touch.


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