Friday, January 26, 2007

"Free" Wi-Fi network hotspot may be a ruse to enslave your laptop

News today arrives about an old scam gaining new life. Airports and other busy area's around the world are being targeted by hackers that turn on Ad-hoc (known as computer to computer) hotspots to lure business travelers into a connection. Once a victim connects to them, the criminals use man in the middle attacks to steal passwords and account information, infect laptops, even implant zombie spam software.

The hotspots use SSID's like "Free Wi-Fi" or something akin to attract people looking for a connection. Link goes to full article - which includes steps you can take to prevent your computer from connecting to them and how to identify suspect hotspots.

One good practice to follow when using ANY "free" hotspot is to subscribe to and use a trusted VPN proxy service, or use your corporate VPN connection, when you check email or access your online bank account.

You should also turn on the Windows Firewall -- or your third party personal firewall of choice -- and block file and printer sharing while traveling.