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Old 02-04-2007, 08:44 AM
Kev
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Default Re: Don't fall victim to the 'Free Wi-Fi' scam

Jeff Liebermann wrote:
> "Ablang" <ron916@gmail.com> hath wroth:
>
>> First, let's take a look at how the attack works. You go to an airport
>> or other hot spot and fire up your PC, hoping to find a free hot spot.
>> You see one that calls itself "Free Wi-Fi" or a similar name. You
>> connect. Bingo -- you've been had!

>
> Chuckle. Why do I have problems visualizing some hacker, sitting in
> an airport lobby, waiting for unsuspecting wireless users to login or
> whatever? That's about the most non-productive waste of time and
> effort I could imagine. Perhaps if he were to occupy his time
> stealing the laptop, it might be worth the effort.
>
>> The problem is that it's not really a hot spot. Instead, it's an ad
>> hoc, peer-to-peer network, possibly set up as a trap by someone with a
>> laptop nearby.

>
> It's not a man in the middle attack. It's a lame Microsoft bug (which
> still hasn't been fixed). See:
> <http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/archives/2006/09/free_public_wif.html>
> <http://www.nmrc.org/pub/advise/20060114.txt>
> I've seen the "free public WiFi" SSID appear dozens of times at Fry's
> and Circuit City, as their demo machines seems to be rather common
> victims. It had me confused for a while until I read the explanation.
>
> I really enjoy conspiracy theories, but this one needs work.
>
>

" Changes for ad hoc networks
On a computer that does not have the Wireless Client Update installed,
Wireless Auto Configuration automatically tries to connect to all the
wireless networks in the preferred networks list that have previously
been connected to. If no infrastructure mode networks are present,
Wireless Auto Configuration sends probe requests to try to connect to
the first ad hoc wireless network in the preferred networks list. An
observer could monitor these probe requests and establish an unsecured
connection with a Windows wireless client.

On a computer that has the Wireless Client Update installed, Wireless
Auto Configuration does not send probe requests to connect to newly
created ad hoc wireless networks in the preferred networks list. Because
many ad hoc wireless networks are created for temporary wireless
connectivity, you must use the Choose a Wireless Network dialog box to
manually initiate a connection to an ad hoc mode wireless network."

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917021

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