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(also data pipeline)

Pipeline definition

A pipeline is a system for processing data whereby the output of one element is the input of the next one. This method writes user requests on a single socket while saving time because it doesn’t wait for a response. The pipeline process usually transfers data through HTTP, FTP, and SMPT protocols. Moreover, it offers improved protocol performance because it allows data to quickly go through highly latent connections, such as satellite internet connections. A typical cybersecurity pipeline usually includes data sources, data collection, data analysis, alerting, and incident response. However, pipelines can be targets for different cyberattacks because hackers have a few methods that help them intercept the data flow.

See also: credential stuffing, dark web

Pipeline hacking

  • Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks: Attackers can intercept data, manipulate it, or inject malicious commands before sending it to its destination. For instance, hackers might steal sensitive data like login credentials, credit card numbers, and other personal information. Modifying the data can potentially lead to accidents or damage to the pipeline.
  • Injection attacks: Hackers can inject malicious code or commands into the pipeline. Usually, the goal of the attacker is to exploit a vulnerable application, such as a database that stores data, and inject commands that disrupt the pipeline’s operation or acquire unauthorized access. This is commonly done through SQL injection and command injection.
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS): In this type of injection attack, hackers exploit XSS vulnerabilities in the web applications that pipeline operators utilize to monitor and control the system. They inject malicious code to steal user data, such as login credentials, or perform other malicious actions.
  • Data tampering: Hackers can modify critical data being transferred through the pipeline to achieve their goals. For example, they can change the amount of money being transferred in a financial transaction or modify the content of an email.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security