Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Server Man-in-the-Middle Weakness

If you have encountered Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Server Man-in-the-Middle weakness, don’t worry. This post primarily introduces what it is and how to fix it. Keep reading if you’re interested.


By Ellie / Updated on May 24, 2023

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What is a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack?

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) assault occurs when an attacker listens in on two targets' conversations and then secretly relays and maybe modifies the messages between the two parties interacting. In this scenario, the attacker successfully masquerades as another entity. The attacker also knows the content of the communication and can potentially tamper with the message. It is akin to a mail carrier, who reads the letter's content or even replaces it with their version.

Cyber Attack

A man-in-the-middle attack could result in the theft of a user ID and password for an online account, a local FTP ID and password, or a secure shell (SSH) or telnet connection. A MITM attack targets an application and exploits a weakness in the program, such as a defective secure sockets layer (SSL) configuration.

Does Remote Desktop Protocol Server allow Man-in-the-Middle attacks?

Unfortunately, the Remote Desktop Protocol Server (Terminal Service) remote version is vulnerable to Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

The RDP client makes no effort to validate the server's identity when setting up encryption. Without being detected, an attacker who can intercept RDP server communication can establish encryption between the client and server. A MITM attack would allow the attacker to obtain any sensitive information transmitted, including authentication credentials.

This issue exists because the RDP server keeps a publicly known hard-coded RSA private key. An attacker can use the key in a privileged network location for this attack. Here comes the Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Server Man-in-the-Middle weakness.

2 solutions to fix Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Server Man-in-the-Middle weakness

Is there a Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Server Man-in-the-Middle weakness fix? YES! Here are two solutions. Check them out.

Solution 1. Force the use of SSL as a transport layer

Step 1. Press Win + R, then type “gpedit.msc” and OK.

Local Group Policy Editor Window

Step 2. Navigate here: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Security.

Open the Security Layer

Step 3. Look for and click Require use of specific security layer for remote connections, set its status to Enabled. Select SSL as the security layer from the drop-down menu.

Security Layer SSL

Solution 2. Allow connections with Network Level Authentication only

Step 1. Press Win + R to invoke the Run dialog box. Then type in “sysdm.cpl” and hit OK to open System Properties.

Run Command Sysdm.cpl

Step 2. Go to the Remote tab and check Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended).

Uncheck Identity Verification

AnyViewer: Safe remote desktop software without security weakness

If you want secure remote desktop software without security weaknesses, you're advised to use the best Remote Desktop alternative, AnyViewer. AnyViewer is a free yet secure remote desktop software. It keeps all your data secure with end-to-end encryption via strong 256-Bit Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) algorithm.

Besides, AnyViewer also provides many free services:

  • iOS and Android supported. AnyViewercan be used on iOS and Android devices.
  • Unattended remote access. AnyViewer offers attended remote access and allows users to get unauthorized access to an unattended computer.
  • File transfer. AnyViewer offers several methods for remote file transfer between machines.
  • Multi-session. AnyViewer allows users to have two remote sessions open at the same time.
  • Remote management. Users can use AnyViewer to remotely operate an unattended computer, such as locking, restarting, or shutting it off.
  • Screen share. AnyViewer allows you to share your screen with others without giving them control right.
  • Instant chat. AnyViewerallows you to chat with the remote side to increase work efficiency.
  • ...
Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Download, install, and launch AnyViewer on both computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill in the signup information.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you’ve logged in to. 

Free Editions

Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on multiple devices. You will then see a list of all the devices that have been logged into the same account. By selecting One-click control, you can start unattended remote access to another device.

Connect to My Devices

✍Note: Free account only supports 2 channels, which allows two devices to start remote sessions at the same time. You can upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan for more channels. And you can also access in privacy mode, assign more devices to the account for one-click secure unattended access, enjoy high-quality images, achieve mass deployment via MSI package, and so on. 

The bottom line

This post primarily introduces the definition of Man-in-the-Middle weakness and the Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Server Man-in-the-Middle weakness remediation. Besides, it also introduces a free yet secure remote desktop solution AnyViewer. It provides you with many impressive features. With it, you can have a better remote access experience. Try it right now.