Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Help To Steal Your Personal And Credit Card Data

Imagine that it is a usual day, and you are sitting with your notebook or a smartphone, in your favorite cafe, or at the lobby of your hotel and see a free wireless network. You connect it and surf the web, and in the meantime, the guy at the next table reads and logs all your traffic, sees all the websites you are currently visiting and gets all your logins/passwords.

That was the most obvious example of Wi-Fi sniffing – one of the most widely spread ways of getting other's personal information. Using that enables evildoers to steal valuable information, such as social network accounts, credit card data and really valuable logins, such as your login/password to PayPal. The spreading of those Wi-Fi sniffers is the main reason why privacy protection specialists at developed this guide on safe Wi-Fi using.

First of all we should mention that it is really easy to intercept traffic sent in wireless networks. Even more, there are even mobile apps for iOS and Android, that may be really helpful for sniffing, MITM and honey pot attacks. Now, we would like to focus on how those attacks are executed and how you can avoid, or withstand them.

Probably the easiest way to steal another person's traffic is to make him or her to connect your router or mobile device. Generally, modern smartphones are able to share their 3G or 4G internet access over Wi-Fi. In that case evildoer will probably sit at the cafe, hotel or the airport, and his wireless network will be called exactly as the place he is residing at now.

User connects such a network, and all his traffic is visible for the host. So our first recommendation will be to avoid free and unprotected public wireless networks. Using them you may find yourself in the middle of a honey pot attack. To avoid this – always check the network before connecting and turn of the auto-connect option in your wireless adapter settings. That will probably help you to avoid classic honey pot attack.

Another quite widely spread way to hack a Wi-Fi network – is to execute a MiTM attack. That man-in-the-middle attack may be executed with an iPhone, so mobile devices users may be dangerous to your wireless network.

That way of attack is far more complicated than a honey pot, because it involves not only traffic interception, but decrypting an access key, or even brute forcing it. It depends greatly on the encryption protocol that is used in the network. If it is WEP – hacker will only have to gather a critical mass of packages, that are sent in the network and he will be able to get a key from them.

And if your wireless network uses more advanced WPA-2 Personal or Enterprise encryption protocol – his task will become much harder. In that case he will have to either wait until someone connects to the hotspot, or simply brute force the password with a dictionary. Either way – Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable and we have to accept that. We can not limit the spreading of the Wi-Fi signals, except as with help of wifi jammer, so evildoers don't even have to get into the building, where the network works to hack it.

The main point of the article is that it is far better to avoid wireless networks, they are vulnerable and it is really better to use wired ones. And if it is impossible, or we are talking about public networks – use a VPN or a proxy, that will help to hide at least a part of your private information.

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Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Help To Steal Your Personal And Credit Card Data Reviewed by Ethical Hacking on 11:14 AM Rating: 5

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