January 29, 2007

Beware Free Wi-Fi Scam In Airports

Everyone loves free Wi-Fi while traveling, right? Check out this Computerworld article on fake Wi-Fi hotspots at major airports that really put you and your company at serious risk.

Fake Wi-Fi hotspots and "man in the middle" attacks are nothing new. The key is that they are actually peer-to-peer or "ad hoc" wireless network connections -- meaning that your laptop connects directly to someone else's PC, not a wireless access point. That's a major security no-no, as they can sniff your logins, passwords, and other confidential data you send through. They can also deposit some nasty items on your PC behind the scenes. Guess what happens when you connect to your company's or firm's network when you get back to the office?

What's nice about this article is that it also tells you how to set your wireless networking settings in both Windows XP and Vista to prevent your PC from making any ad hoc wireless connections. Note this won't stop your laptop from finding and connecting to a bogus wireless access point set up nearby for nefarious purposes. It's just one more layer of security, and every little bit helps.

Topic(s):   Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard