How does Man In The Middle attack happens?

Man In the Middle attack can be performed with different tools and different mechanism. Here in this post i would like to highlight 2 attack vectors which are as follows:

  • Rogue Cell Towers (Also known as StingRay in Cyber Forensics)
  • IP Spoofing in a WiFi Network (Using Cain N Abel) –


Rogue Cell Towers (Also known as StingRay in Cyber Forensics)

A rogue cell tower is a virtual base transceiver station (VBTS). It is a device for identifying the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of a nearby GSM mobile phone and intercepting its calls. An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. The IMSI is a unique number identifying a GSM subscriber.


The IMSI is used in any mobile network that interconnects with other networks. For GSM, UMTS and LTE network, this number is provisioned in the SIM card and for CDMA2000 in the phone directly or in the R-UIM card. IMSI-Catcher was patented and first commercialized by Rohde & Schwarz in 2003. On 24 January 2012, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales held that the patent is invalid because of its purpose & use.

Harris Corporation an American technology company turned the IMSI-Catcher into enhanced mobile surveillance device, especially built for the US navy giving it the nautical name “Stingray”


IP Spoofing in a WiFi Network (Using Cain N Abel)

WiFi networks your mobile apps are connected should be always assumed as un-safe for the following reasons:

  • The network you are connected to might be behind a firewall or proxy. Where either the network administrators can install intercept tools such as BurpSuite, WireShark to introspect network traffic.
  • The user’s connected to the same network that you are connected can channel all the network traffic through their system by performing IP spoofing. IP spoofing is a technique where the attacker impersonates his computer as the router of that network by broadcasting spoofed tcp-ip packets to all the machines connected on that network. Then all the systems connected on that network point to the attacker system as their IP lookup table would consider that as the router/gateway. There are various tools available on the internet, one popular tool amongst the cyber forensics professionals is called “Cain N Abel”

  • Cain and Abel (often abbreviated to Cain) is a password recovery tool for Microsoft Windows. It can recover many kinds of passwords using methods such as network packet sniffing, cracking various password hashes by using methods such as dictionary attacks, brute force and cryptanalysis attacks.
  • You can download Cain N Abel here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *