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) is an attack where the attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other.

Alice, believing this public key to be Bob's, encrypts her message with Mallory's key and sends the enciphered message back to Bob.

Mallory again intercepts, deciphers the message using her private key, possibly alters it if she wants, and re-enciphers it using the public key Bob originally sent to Alice.

MITM attacks are largely detected, or prevented by two means: authentication, and tamper detection.

Authentication provides some degree of a guarantee that a given message has come from a source.

After an outcry from technically literate users, this 'feature' was removed from later versions of the router's firmware.

In 2013, the Nokia's Browser was revealed to be decrypting HTTPS traffic on Nokia's proxy servers, giving the company clear text access to its customers' encrypted browser traffic.

As an attack that aims at circumventing mutual authentication, or lack thereof, a man-in-the-middle attack can succeed only when the attacker can impersonate each endpoint to their satisfaction as expected from the legitimate end.

All protocols include some form of endpoint authentication specifically to prevent attacks.

Otherwise, such attacks are generally possible, in principle, against any message sent using public-key or private-key technology.

A variety of techniques can help defend against attacks.

If one transaction, however, were to take an abnormal length of time to reach the other party, this could be indicative of a third party's interference inserting additional latency in the transaction.

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