Computer Crime Research Center


Wi-Fi hacker attacks

Date: May 14, 2007

Times Online has reported attacks on Wi-Fi hotspots in Coffee-shop chains such as Starbucks.

The “evil twin” attacks involve a hacker setting up a rogue WiFi network and monitoring traffic in order to intercept private data.

This sort of attack is difficult to trace and can be set up with little more than a laptop with a USB WiFi adapter and some special software.

Victims of the scheme believe they are logging on to a genuine network in a cafe when they are actually being diverted to the rogue connection.

Their keystrokes are then captured by the hacker, who can extract information for fraudulent purposes such as identity theft.

Times Online monitored a chatroom used to discuss the technique, which is also known as a “man in the middle” attack, and saw information being exchanged about how security at Wi-Fi hotspots can be bypassed.

In a forum entitled “T-Mobile or Starbucks hotspot,” a discussion about the effectiveness of man in the middle type attacks took place.
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