What is Scavenging in Cyber Security?

Scavenging in cyber security is the process of sifting through a system's data residue in search of sensitive or confidential information. Data scavenging is usually the first stage in any purposeful network assault. To discover as much as possible about a target firm, the attacker employs a combination of network-based tools and Internet search engine searches.

Scavenging occurs when top-level hackers dump stolen credentials from a database compromise into a temporary public document for others to utilize. Once they have your information, the hackers try your password on well-known services like PayPal.

Why is it Difficult to Detect a Scavenging Attack?

For two key reasons, the assault is nearly hard to detect −

  • If the attacker uses network utilities like Ping or Traceroute, then the volume of data is so low that identifying the attacker is difficult.

  • Information obtained through Whois, Nslookup, or Internet search engines is often public and accessible to anybody.

The information obtained by the attacker is frequently obtained from servers other than the victim's servers (as is the case with Whois queries). Using an Internet search engine may provide a wealth of useful information.

Following a successful data-scavenging attack, the attacker may have gained access to the following information about the target network −

  • Critical system IP addresses (WWW, DNS, mail)

  • The victim's designated IP ranges

  • The victim's Internet service provider (ISP)

Scavenging entails looking through garbage copies of computer listings and multi-part stationery carbon sheets. Some software programs create temporary data files that are only overwritten when the procedure is executed again. Due to the fact that such files are routinely rewritten, they may not be fully guarded by standard security protocols and may be copied by unauthorized users for further information searches. Such leftover data may expose vital information when the unauthorized user does more severe searches.

  • Scavenging has a significant impact on secrecy.

  • Scavenging is the process of obtaining sensitive data by looking at item residuals (or leftover data).

  • Looking for leftover data in a computer, computer tapes, or discs after a job has been completed might endanger that data.

  • Examining abandoned or stolen media might lead to the discovery of sensitive information.

Data Scavenging in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based technology. Many computing processes such as data transit and storage are carried out in the cloud. There are data scavenging risks linked to data being stored and processed remotely, allowing unwanted users/attackers to retrieve data that cannot be erased or discarded. Data scavenging is the process of putting together the information contained in fragments of data.

An attacker can retrieve data because it can't be fully erased. There are two types of data scavenging attacks −

  • Keyboard assaults − These are attacks that make use of resources that are available to regular system users who are seated at the keyboard.

  • Laboratory attack − These attacks are planned and coordinated and are carried out using precision electronic equipment.

If data is not completely destroyed or deleted, attackers can retrieve/recover it and use it to execute laboratory and keyboard assaults.

A virtual host system manages several virtual machines and assigns resources to each of them. The default resource allocation settings provide all virtual machines connected to the same host an equal proportion of CPU, memory, and disc space. As a result of these factors,the security of each virtual machine may suffer. Virtual machines can share resources. Data scavenging was done prior to such an exchange and isn't always carried out entirely. Assailants recover data in order to launch attacks. Information about other virtual machines. A rogue virtual machine can derive information about shared resources without compromising the hypervisor.

There are concerns that a virtual machine hypervisor might be compromised, making the virtual machine a prime target. When two virtual machines interact via covert channels, the security module and its defined rules for virtual machine monitoring can be evaded. Through a rogue virtual machine that can examine its shared resources without being notified by its virtual machine monitor, attackers can deduce information about other virtual machines.

Updated on: 09-Jun-2022


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