Inference Attack

An inference attack is a unique technique with which an attacker can “infer” much larger amounts of information from partial data. It is a data mining attack that involves analysing huge data sets, from which the attacker can obtain sensitive information about a user or a database with a great degree of accuracy.

This data mining technique analyses huge chunks of data. Giving the attacker inside information about the contents of a database even though they have technically not accessed it. 

The threat of Inference attacks

Inference attacks can be very effective, especially with IoT devices. The general quality of data collected from smart appliances like washing machines, thermostats, and fridges is often too abstract to give away vital information about the user — ordinarily. 

However, in the hands of an expert, it can reveal so much about the user and their habits. IoT devices have weak security measures, making their data easy to extract and weaponise. 

Preventing inference attacks

  • Avoid oversharing: Whether it’s a tweet, a Facebook post, or even an update to your LinkedIn profile, be careful not to post more than necessary.
  • Install a VPN: A VPN is a great way to protect yourself from the threat of interference attacks. It encrypts your internet traffic and connections, blocking trackers and reducing the amount of personal data that can be retrieved from the internet. It will also keep your home network and every single device connected to it protected from snoopers.