April 25, 2007 ~ "...With the growth in wireless networks, the evil twin
type of attack is on the rise... The growth in the number of Wi-Fi networks is providing more opportunities for hackers, who can make their networks appear to be legitimate by simply giving an access point a similar name to the Wi-Fi network on the premises. Since the hacker may be physically closer to the victim than the real access point, his signal will be stronger, potentially drawing more victims. The hacker's computer can be configured to pass victims through to the legitimate access point while monitoring their traffic. Several free programs available on the Internet can decode packets to reveal clear-text log-ins and passwords
- Corporate users can protect themselves by using virtual private networks (VPN) when logging into company servers, Cracknell said. But consumers are at a particular disadvantage, since they are likely not using VPNs and will access free Web e-mail applications that could send passwords in clear text. Wi-Fi hot spot owners tend to be "absolutely ignorant" of the attack, although they should regularly monitor their network for rogue access points, Cracknell said. Another problem is reporting: Victims may not even know how their information was pinched, and those who run the hot spot may be reluctant to reveal that hackers exploited their network.
- Consumers can protect themselves at least one way: be wary of free hot spots. Many airports and cafes charge for access, so a free hot spot could be designed to ensnare potential victims. Also, the attack has been used in hotels, with the so-called evil twin actually coming from a nearby hacker guest..."