What is a backdoor?

Personal information, photos, videos, passwords, documents and more have been stored on computers and smartphones for a long time. This makes it all the more important to be aware of the different types of malware. In addition to the one that is hardly ever used Virus there is various other malware – the so-called backdoor can be used to smuggle it in. It allows criminals to gain access to the system and/or install other malicious software. In the following you will get a comprehensive answer to the question: What is a backdoor and how does it damage computers?

What is a backdoor and why can it be dangerous on computers and smartphones? What measures are there to protect against the creation of the digital backdoor? Answers to these and other questions can be found here.
What is a backdoor and why can it be dangerous on computers and smartphones? What measures are there to protect against the creation of the digital backdoor? Answers to these and other questions can be found here.

What is a backdoor?

A backdoor is a security hole or a deliberately placed gateway in a computer system or software. This gateway to the operating system or an app is intentionally created by developers or criminals to gain access. The term "backdoor" comes from the analogue world, in which the "back door" of a house can be used as an alternative entrance that is also difficult to see into. Whether intentional or not, a backdoor offers the possibility of remote (secret) access to functions and contents of the computer or mobile device.

How is a backdoor created on my computer?

A backdoor can be set up in a number of ways. When developing apps, developers can intentionally create a backdoor to allow remote access later. This is sometimes done for legitimate reasons, such as troubleshooting or to access and repair systems in an urgent emergency. However, when criminals create a backdoor, they do so for less user-centric purposes. Criminals want to access sensitive data or systems unnoticed - for example to steal data or place malware.

How exactly do criminals use a backdoor?

When malicious hackers or other cybercriminals use a backdoor to gain access to a computer or computer network, this can happen for a variety of reasons. In the previous paragraphs we touched on this a bit. However, they will be discussed in more detail below:

  • Steal sensitive data: Hard drive access can be gained by accessing a backdoor to steal confidential information (personal data and documents, passwords, financial information, intellectual property, company secrets, etc.). The insights gained can be used for identity theft, blackmail or black market sales.
  • Spread more malware: A backdoor can also be used to steal malware such as spyware, Trojan horses or Ransomware to inject into a system. These malicious programs can then act in secret and cause considerable damage. Various goals can be pursued, ranging from spying on them unnoticed to encrypting storage to extort a ransom.
  • remote control of the system: A backdoor may provide the ability to remotely control the infected computer. As a result, undesirable actions can be carried out for users, data and real-time inputs can be spied out or the computer can be included in a bot network in order to carry out further attacks (see DDoS attack).

How can I protect my computer from a backdoor?

As with many other types of malware, there are a number of ways to protect against the threat of a backdoor. Since there are various sources of malware and its gateways, the focus should not be on one of these measures, but rather a holistic approach - with a combination of these tips:

  • Install the latest operating system updates to close known security vulnerabilities. Modern systems also offer better protective measures and privacy settings, which serve to provide comprehensive protection.
  • Keep apps up to date with updates so that old security gaps are no longer than Feat can be exploited.
  • security mechanisms such as firewalls and Mac Gatekeeper leave them activated if they don't bother you too much. In everyday use, however, they shouldn't bother you if you don't load several programs and files from dubious sources every day.
  • Use only trusted software from App Store, trusted download sites, and official developer websites; so no download portals.
  • If you receive a strange-looking email from an unknown source, do not open its links or attachments. If you receive a strange-looking e-mail from a known sender, it is better to use a different method to ask this contact whether it was really sent that way.
  • Beware of scam emails and calls: From serious system errors to full cloud storage to online banking dangers, criminals use various scenarios to cause a hasty reaction - providing data, downloading surveillance programs or similar. It's better to take a deep breath and ask yourself whether the email or call can really be legitimate than fall for a scam.
  • Certain security programs can view Mac and PC network activity. In this way, the communication between malware and the criminals' servers can be detected and terminated. An example would be Little Snitch.

Summary on the topic of backdoor danger on the computer

Backdoors pose a threat to computer security if they can be successfully placed or found from the outside. Although they can be implemented in some systems and apps for legitimate reasons, the risk that criminals use them as an invitation to malicious software remains to place. There are several protective measures one should take against this threat and other malware. You are relatively safe on the Apple Mac, since the system and data are protected by several layers of protection, hard disk access must be permitted manually and questionable programs are blocked at an early stage. Nevertheless, remain vigilant.

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