Mitigating Wi-Fi Risks

Wi-Fi Risks

Today, Wi-Fi is everywhere; we find it in homes, offices, coffee shops, airports, hospitals, and even the street. This emphasizes the fact that there are many Wi-Fi related risks that are crucial to be aware of. Humans rely on an internet connection on a day-to-day basis, whether it be for personal or professional reasons. The internet’s role in society is only growing; the Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018–2023) predicts that two-thirds of the global population will have internet access by 2023, up from just over half in 2019. However, the threat of Wi-Fi attacks means that these figures only provide greater exposure for malicious cybercriminals.

Rogue Access Points

A rogue access point (AP) can be classified as any access point that is not authorized to be operating on the network. Some rogue APs are benign in nature, only set up to provide greater coverage or access to blocked websites. While these access points do present a serious security risk to the user and network administrator, the most threatening rogue access points are those created by bad actors with malicious intent.

Known as an Evil Twin, the rogue access points impersonates a legitimate access points by spoofing its SSID to trick users into connecting to it. Evil Twins have allowed cybercriminals to adapt to the dynamic cybersecurity defenses deployed to block cyber-attacks by exploiting the “blind spots”.
Organizations lack the ability to identify unauthorized BSSIDs. So, when a rogue access points is present there is no indication of this. Users are therefore at risk of connecting to the Evil Twin, completely unaware of its malicious nature. The attacker can remotely carry out attacks once users have connected to the rogue access points and, essentially, steal data out of thin air.

Read the paper Mitigating Wi-Fi Risks (pdf)
August 4th, 2021