Thursday, January 20, 2005

'Evil twin' hotspots

'Evil twin' hotspots are a new menace for Wi-Fi Internet users
January 20, 2005

'Evil Twin' hotspots: the latest security threat to web users, according to wireless internet and cyber crime experts at Cranfield University, academic partner of the Defence Academy of the UK.  "So-called ‘Evil Twin’ hotspots present a hidden danger for web users," explained Dr Nobles.  In essence, users think they’ve logged on to a wireless hotspot connection when, in fact, they’ve been tricked to connect to the attacker’s unauthorised base station. The latter jams the connection to a legitimate base station by sending a stronger signal within close proximity to the wireless client – thereby turning itself into an ‘Evil Twin’.

There are many free hotspots around Ann Arbor, and I have visited many of them.  But I use an old notebook computer that does not have any sensitive information on it.  I probably would use the hotspots more, if I could justify buying one of those new thin/light computers, but the security problems are such that I would not want to use it for anything important. 

I've heard of physician's offices that have wireless networks, and all the doctors carry tablet PC's.  Sounds nice, but I would not want my medical records broadcast over WiFi.  And I don't even have anything embarrassing in my records.