Remote protocols are transmission protocols in the network that enable access to remote content. These protocols are mainly used in infrastructures for IT support/helpdesk, terminal servers and virtual desktops.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol developed by Microsoft to enable Windows users to access another system (e.g. a company client) from one system (e.g. a company server). This facilitates decentralized collaboration. Employees can use their own laptops or computers to access their office workstation from home, for example. Employees can then access any software installed on the workstation without having to install it on the system they are accessing from. They also gain access to all files and documents on the remote system. These remain on the workstation computer at all times.
However, RDP use does carry risks: if employees use short and/or simple passwords and refrain from using multiple authentication, security gaps are revealed that cyber criminals exploit.
Brute force attacks on remote protocols
Due to the coronavirus, employees had to work remotely and move their workplace to their own homes. New work processes and structures had to be found and integrated in a very short time to allow employees to work effectively and efficiently – data protection and cyber security were often neglected during this time. The novelty and general inexperience with “remote working” often had an additional negative effect. Cybercriminals exploit this situation and intensify their attacks on companies. They often focus on remote protocol applications (such as Microsoft’s RDP). As with other brute force attacks, username-password combinations are tried and guessed. In a very short time, hackers often obtain the victim’s RDP access data and can thus act on the remote system on their behalf.
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