Malicious WiFi Networks are a threat

Malicious WiFi Networks can be used to siphon sensitive data from organisations or hijack devices to collect access credentials, such as passwords, and steal information from organisations and individuals.

Types of malicious WiFi networks include

  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM)
  • Rogue access points
  • Evil twins
  • Captive portals
  • Wireless phishing attacks.

As an example, all devices, such as phones and laptops, store WiFi networks that have been accessed by the user. 

Unless they are deleted from the list, the device constantly searches for a connection to every stored network, sending out probe requests every few seconds:

    “Home WiFi, are you there?” 

    “Corporate WiFi, are you there?”

The device will automatically connect to the WiFi network that fits the criteria and responds – fake or real.

It doesn’t matter how much security you have on your organisation’s network.

Even certificate-based authentication will not stop your staff’s devices from creating a hotspot or sending out probe requests for stored WiFi networks and being hijacked by malicious WiFi networks.

It’s no longer just about securing your organisation’s WiFi. You now need to defend against attacks on all the endpoints, including your staff’s devices.

A malicious WiFi network can be set up using a hacking tool like a WiFi Pineapple, which can be bought for approximately $140 over the internet. 

The criminal listens to the device probe requests to see which real WiFi networks are being requested by the device.

The hacking tool is then programmed to mimic the real WiFi network. As it now looks exactly like the real WiFi, the device will automatically connect to the malicious WiFi network.

The criminal can then collect access credentials and information to hack corporate networks and bank accounts or steal an identity.

If your staff’s devices are set up to automatically connect to their home WiFi when they get home, or to other WiFi networks, their devices will be sending out probe requests continuously – they are all vulnerable.