What Is A Backdoor And How Does It Work?

by Carson

No matter how secure a system is, hackers can still, at least theoretically, take advantage of the flaws in the system and gain unauthorized access to it? This mechanism is known as a backdoor, and we’ll explain them in this article.

How Do Backdoors Work?

In a backdoor attack, hackers search for vulnerabilities by attacking the systems proactively or installing spyware on the computer to monitor system logs. After that, the resulting information is analyzed, and security imperfections can be found using this method.

Secondly, after a vulnerability is found, the attackers immediately write a program that is used to attack the systems. This program will exploit the imperfections in the system to use unorthodox ways to bypass all login credentials, including multi-factor authentication, to access and cause damage to systems.

Why Are Backdoors So Dangerous?

Cyberattacks that involve backdoors are particularly dangerous because they might not even have to use social engineering. Instead, the vulnerabilities they take advantage of could go undetected for months or even years, meaning that hackers have lots of time to invade vulnerable machines. The attacks that exploit the flaw in the system and take place between when the hackers discover the vulnerability and when the developers later find it is called a zero-day attack, and the security flaw is called a zero-day vulnerability.

Moreover, hackers will have complete control over the victims’ computers after they log in through backdoors so that they can cause whatever damage they want, including stealing massive amounts of personal information or even money, and installing perilous malware on the victims’ devices.

How to Prevent Backdoor Attacks from Damaging Systems?

If you’re an ordinary user, you can check for updates on all software, including the operating system and apps, regularly. That way, when software developers identify security imperfections and patch them, you will become protected from the attacks that exploit the fixed vulnerabilities.

Moreover, it’s best to also refrain from clicking on links or attachments from suspicious emails and downloading anything from a suspicious or unofficial source. For instance, you should only download an app from an app store or the developers’ official website. You should also install antimalware software and scan your computer for threats often just in case a backdoor, or any other form of malware, gets in.

However, you can do much more if you’re a software developer. To protect the security of the information in the apps your company develops, you should hire, or propose to hire white-hat hackers, if it’s affordable to do so. That way, these hackers can find vulnerabilities by continuously attacking your apps and report to the other departments of the company if they encounter security imperfections so that the app can be fixed.


In this article, we’ve talked about what a backdoor is, how it works, how dangerous it is, and how to prevent backdoor attacks from causing damage. If you want to learn more, you can visit the webpages in the references below.

References and Credits

  1. (n.d.). Backdoor Attack. Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://www.imperva.com/learn/application-security/backdoor-shell-attack/
  2. (n.d.). What is a backdoor? Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://www.malwarebytes.com/backdoor
  3. Ben Martens. (n.d.). What Is a Backdoor & How to Prevent Backdoor Attacks (2021). Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://www.safetydetectives.com/blog/what-is-a-backdoor-and-how-to-protect-against-it/
  4. Abi Tyas Tunggal. (2021, September 24). What is a Vulnerability? Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://www.upguard.com/blog/vulnerability

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