Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


’Evil twin’ hotspots are a new menace for internet users


‘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.

Dr Phil Nobles, wireless internet and cyber crime expert at the university, will be speaking at the wireless crime event at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre – the UK’s only venue for adults to discuss controversial science – on Thursday 20 January 2005 from19.00-20.30. He will explain the latest security threats to internet users and will also discuss wireless computing vulnerabilities that exist at present. “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’."

Once the user is connected to the ‘Evil Twin’, the cyber criminal can intercept data being transmitted, such as bank details or personal information. “Cyber criminals don’t have to be that clever to carry out such an attack,” added Dr Nobles. “Because wireless networks are based on radio signals, they can be easily detected by unauthorised users tuning into the same frequency.”

Unwitting web users are invited to log in to the attacker’s server with bogus login prompts and can pass sensitive data such as user names and passwords which can then be used by unauthorised third parties. This type of cyber crime goes largely undetected because users are unaware that this is taking place until well after the incident has occurred.

Attacks can also take the form of degrading the performance of the client network or a complete denial of service. The attacker can get the victim’s network to collude in the attack so that the degradation in network performance is less likely to be detected.

Professor Brian Collins, Head of Information Systems Department at Cranfield University, said: “Web users who use wi-fi networks should be on their guard against this type of cyber crime. “Given the spread and popularity of wireless internet networks – which, according to data research company IDC, is predicted to increase from 7,800 to nearly 22,000 by 2008 – users need to be wary of using their wi-fi enabled laptops or other portable devices to conduct financial transactions or anything of a sensitive or personal nature, for fear of disclosing this information to an unauthorised third party.”

Professor Collins continued: “Users can also protect themselves by ensuring that their wi-fi device has its security measures activated. In the vast majority of cases, base stations taken out of the box direct from the manufacturer are configured in the least secure mode possible.”

Cranfield University acknowledges that this is a new area of cyber crime where more research is required.

Lisa Jamieson, Head of Programmes at the Dana Centre, added: “Half of all business wireless networks in this country have inadequate security controls in place, making their information vulnerable to attack. At the Dana Centre we have in place a hardened firewall which protects the public using our wireless network from electronic attack.

“Through this event, the audience will be more aware of the potential risks and can find out how to ensure that they don’t become another cyber victim statistic.”

Ardi Kolah | alfa
Further information:

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>