Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Eavesdropping Attack


An eavesdropping attack, also known as a “sniffing” or “snooping” attack, refers to the unauthorized interception of information transmitted over a network by cybercriminals. This type of attack targets confidential data, particularly in financial and banking sectors, to steal sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and personal data. Eavesdropping attacks can lead to identity theft, financial loss, and damage to a company or individual’s reputation.


The phonetics for the keyword “Eavesdropping Attack” are:Eavesdropping: /ˈiːvzˌdrɒpɪŋ/Attack: /əˈtæk/

Key Takeaways

  1. An Eavesdropping Attack is an unauthorized interception of data or communication. This type of attack is typically carried out by a hacker or a malicious entity to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information, conversations, or files being transmitted between two parties.
  2. Eavesdropping Attacks can be executed using different methods, including packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle, and wiretapping. Attackers can exploit unsecured wireless networks or poorly encrypted communication channels to carry out these attacks and acquire sensitive data such as login credentials, credit card information, and personal conversations.
  3. Preventing Eavesdropping Attacks involves implementing strong security measures such as encryption, using secure communication protocols (e.g., HTTPS, SSL/TLS), deploying network monitoring tools to detect intrusions, and ensuring consistent network security. Additionally, individuals can follow best practices like avoiding unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, keeping software up-to-date, and using strong, unique passwords to minimize the risk of eavesdropping attacks.


Eavesdropping Attack is an important term in business and finance due to its potential consequences on the confidentiality, integrity, and security of sensitive information exchanged within these sectors. The attack refers to the unauthorized interception, monitoring, or capture of data (e.g. financial transactions, confidential business plans, or proprietary information) transmitted across a network by cybercriminals. The success of such an attack can lead to serious financial losses, damaged brand reputation, and even legal ramifications for the affected organizations or individuals. Therefore, understanding the risks associated with eavesdropping attacks is crucial to protecting businesses and financial institutions from unauthorized access, safeguarding the privacy of clients, and maintaining the overall credibility and stability of the market.


Eavesdropping attacks, commonly found in the business and finance sector, are malicious activities undertaken by cybercriminals in order to acquire sensitive information from a targeted organization or individual. The primary purpose behind initiating such an attack is to gain unauthorized access to confidential data such as credit card numbers, trade secrets, classified financial reports, or any other vital information that the attacker can exploit for personal gain or to cause damage to the intended victim. Usually, this involves intercepting communication channels, tampering with data transmission, or monitoring online activities of users without their consent.

In addition to direct financial implications, eavesdropping attacks can have far-reaching consequences for businesses. For instance, exploitation of the intercepted information can lead to reputational damage, eroding client trust, and the potential loss of clients or business partners. Due to the severity of the risks associated with eavesdropping attacks, it is essential for organizations in the finance sector to safeguard their networks, communication channels, and any sensitive information being transmitted or stored. To protect against these attacks, businesses typically employ best cybersecurity practices such as encryption, secure authentication protocols, and regular security audits to detect and prevent unauthorized access or information breaches.


Eavesdropping attack, also known as passive attack or sniffing attack, occurs when an unauthorized person intercepts and potentially monitors the data exchange between two parties. The attacker can capture sensitive information such as login credentials, financial information, or confidential business details. Here are three real-world examples showcasing eavesdropping attacks in a business/finance context:

1. Target Corporation Data Breach (2013): Target, a major US retail company, suffered a massive data breach in which around 40 million credit and debit card records were stolen. Cybercriminals managed to conduct an eavesdropping attack by injecting malware into the point-of-sale (POS) systems, allowing them to intercept customers’ card details during their transactions. This information was used for fraudulent transactions and affected the company’s customer trust and financial performance.

2. Citibank ATM Hack (2006): In 2006, cybercriminals used eavesdropping attacks on Citibank’s ATM networks to steal customer data and compromise their accounts. They exploited a weakness in the system to intercept PINs and account information, leading to the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Citibank had to reimburse affected account holders and faced public relations issues impacting its reputation in the finance industry.

3. Swift Network Exploitation (2016): Swift (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), which enables banks to communicate and settle financial transactions securely, was targeted by cybercriminals leading to the theft of around $100 million. Attackers managed to infiltrate the network by eavesdropping on financial transactions using malware. They changed the transaction details, allowing them to redirect the funds to their accounts. This event highlighted major vulnerabilities in the global financial security system and damaged Swift’s reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an eavesdropping attack?

An eavesdropping attack, also known as a “sniffing” or “snooping” attack, is a type of cyberattack where an unauthorized third party secretly intercepts, monitors, and captures private communication or data transfers between individuals or systems in a network. The primary aim of such attacks is to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal details, or financial data.

How does an eavesdropping attack work?

Eavesdropping attacks often take advantage of unsecured or vulnerable network connections, such as public Wi-Fi networks or poorly protected devices. Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities by using various techniques, including packet sniffing and man-in-the-middle attacks, to monitor and examine network traffic and capture confidential information transmitted over the network.

What are the main risks associated with eavesdropping attacks in finance and business?

The main risks associated with eavesdropping attacks in finance and business include the theft of confidential information, such as credit card details, banking information, and customer data. Additionally, eavesdropping attacks can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive corporate resources, disruption of business operations, reputational damage, and potential legal consequences due to breaches of data protection regulations.

How can eavesdropping attacks be prevented?

To prevent eavesdropping attacks, businesses should implement a robust cybersecurity policy that includes the following measures:1. Use encryption for all data transmissions, including emails, file transfers, and instant messaging.2. Install and maintain updated security software, including anti-virus, anti-malware, and firewalls.3. Employ Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for remote connections or for employees connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.4. Implement a strong password policy and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for accessing sensitive systems and data.5. Regularly update and patch software, firmware, and operating systems to correct security vulnerabilities.6. Educate employees about the risks of eavesdropping attacks and the importance of safe online practices.

What should I do if I suspect an eavesdropping attack has occurred?

If you suspect that an eavesdropping attack has taken place, you should immediately:1. Notify your IT department or security team to investigate and mitigate the situation.2. Change passwords and authentication credentials for affected accounts or systems.3. Monitor your financial transactions and accounts for any unauthorized or suspicious activity.4. Report the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies or data protection authorities, depending on the nature and scope of the attack.5. Conduct a thorough security audit to identify further vulnerabilities and implement appropriate preventive measures.

Related Finance Terms

  • Network Security
  • Encryption
  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) Attack
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • Wireless Network Intrusion

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More