Wi-Fi enabled devices — widely known as the Internet of Things (IoT) — are populating offices and homes in greater and greater numbers.
From smartphones to connected printers and even coffee makers, most of these IoT devices have good intentions and can connect to your company’s network without a problem.
However, as the Internet of Things (IoT) devices are growing at a great pace, they continue to widen the attack surface at the same time, giving attackers a large number of entry points to affect you some or the other way.
The attackers can use your smart devices to gain backdoor entry to your network, giving them the capability to steal sensitive data, such as your personal information, along with a multitude of other malicious acts.
An interesting attack scenario has recently been demonstrated by one of the renowned hackers, Jayson Street, who said all it is needed is to walk around with the right device to get into someone’s device.
Before we jump into the technical details of the attack, let’s watch out a video showing that how easy it is to hack smartphones and laptops in a crowded place by setting up an EvilAP (malicious access point).
Street used a simple penetration testing device and an internet connection to pwn people around him.
Technically, Street hacking device automatically set up an ‘Evil Twin Attack,’ in which an attacker fools wireless users into connecting their smartphones and laptops to an evil (malicious) hotspot by posing as a legitimate WiFi provider.
Once connected, all of the victim’s information flows directly into the attacker’s device, allowing cybercriminals to secretly eavesdrop on the network traffic and steal passwords, financial and other sensitive data and even redirect you to malware and phishing sites.
How to Prevent Evil Twin WiFi Attacks
Pwnie Express released its yearly industry report: Internet of Evil Things, providing insight on products that the IT professionals should be wary of.
Using the report and additional information from security researchers at Pwnie, we have listed five quick steps you can implement in order to prevent yourself or your workplace from being compromised.
1. Turn your WiFi Off: Turn off Wi-Fi devices when you are not using them, especially on the weekends — it saves energy and minimizes your exposure to hackers.
2. Use it or Lose it: Once the product is in your office, turn off the functions you aren’t using. Enabled functionality usually comes with increased security risks.
Also, make sure you review the products before you bring them into the workplace. If it is already there, do not be shy about calling customer service and walking through the steps required to shut down any unused functions.
3. Change Your Passwords: It is important never to use the default credentials. Set up strong, secure passwords to secure your devices.
4. Research Your Purchase: Before you even buy a product, always research what you’re buying and make sure you know how to update any software associated with that device.
Look for devices, systems, and services that make it easy to upgrade the device and inform the end user when updates are available.
5. Trust and Verify Every Device: Be aware of any device from brands known to have more security issues than others. The personalization of corporate hardware, including mobile hotspot vendors, is one of the top threats to network security.