09:30 AM

Authentium Warns

Authentium issued a warning against trusting free wireless access points located in airports and other public places

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Authentium, the leading developer of security software-as-a-service technologies, today issued a warning against trusting free wireless access points located in airports and other public places. The company said that public wireless networks are ripe for exploitation by hackers who may set up fake “free” WiFi hotspots in public places that could potentially be used to steal sensitive data, such as online banking passwords or personal information.

In a recent test at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, the most-trafficked airport in the US, Authentium engineers discovered that more than 90% of the wireless networks available within the passenger terminals were actually ad-hoc (i.e. computer to computer) connections – and more than 80% of these devices were advertising “free” WiFi access. On the day of testing, only one in ten of the advertised “free” wireless access points connected with O’Hare’s official wireless access hub. Many of the suspect devices registered as access points also displayed fake or misleading MAC addresses.

”Windows XP automatically prompts the user to accept or decline connections to available wireless networks. Naturally, most users will choose to connect to the “FREE WiFi” access point, which may in fact be a quick path to fraud.” said Ray Dickenson, Authentium’s Senior Vice-President of Products. “To make matters worse, the SSID’s (network names) of wireless networks you’ve joined before are saved on your system; your PC will automatically log on to any network with a saved name. It’s clear that Wifi environments in public places are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation by criminals and their malicious software tools; this vulnerability extends even to users who are not connecting to the networks but are simply using their laptops in the area,” he added.

Authentium Inc.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
According to industry estimates, about a million new IT security jobs will be created in the next two years but there aren't enough skilled professionals to fill them. On top of that, there isn't necessarily a clear path to a career in security. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts guests Carson Sweet, co-founder and CTO of CloudPassage, which published a shocking study of the security gap in top US undergrad computer science programs, and Rodney Petersen, head of NIST's new National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.