Dangers Of Wireless Connection and How To Secure Yourself
BackgroundDolapo runs out of mobile data whilst waiting for her flight to Abuja where she holds a Campaign against "Girl Trafficking". She has to share a list of possible sponsors with her secretary. She connects to the airport wi-fi which is fictitious and now her communication has been intercepted.
The reason why people moved to wireless connection is to overcome the physical limitations of internet access. But from an attackers view, wireless connections are easy to target and intercept.
What Are Dangers Of Using Open/Public Wireless
People are always eager to use free wireless without considering the dangers that come with it.
Man in the Middle Attack (MITM) can be described as a way in which an attacker intercepts connection between two systems i.e The Access Point and The Victims. Here’s how it Works: An Attacker sets up a Fake Access point (free wi-fi) in a Public place and you quickly connect to it.The attacker has his own motive for creating this; to spoof your entire browsing history, including your usernames and passwords.
Another method is when you connect to a public wireless from a restaurant, airport, or an open space. and you’re Browsing through Facebook or Gmail. Since these sites are both encrypted with HTTPS and you’re pretty sure it is secured, And you think no one can intercept your connection since you’re browsing on a secure site. The hacker intercepts this network through an attack called SSL Stripping.
DNS Cache Poisoning is another method similar to SSL Stripping, Let’s say you want to browse Facebook?, Your Computer send request to the Wireless router to access Facebook and the Router send back the response back to your computer with Facebook. But with DNS Cache Poisoning, The Attacker is the one between the connection i.e the Wireless Connection and Your Computer.
When you Browse Facebook, instead of your Computer to communicate with the free wireless Connection directly it will pass through the Attackers Computer, Then to the Access Point, get response from the Wireless Connection back to the Attacker Computer, Then Back to you. With this he can do modifications right from his computer so that whenever you browse Facebook or Gmail it may appear to you as Facebook but if you look closely, it’s just a Phishing site.
How To Secure Yourself When Using Public/Open Wireless
If you want to use a Public Connection always check that your website is accurate. That’s what most people don’t do, Browse On HTTPS site as we have mentioned earlier. Don’t do transactions with your Bank online as that’s the main reason for an attacker to intercept your connection. If you want to do that get yourself a private connection and do that.
Important: Don’t forget to turn off your wireless connection when its not in use
Secure Yourself with the Use of a VPN
To protect against this type of attack you should use a VPN to make your online activities safe, secured and encrypted. There are many VPNs available on the internet, we have VyprVPN, Hide My Ass, OpenVPN and VPNGate. For this session, we would talk about VPN Gate.
VPN Gate is a free, non-commercial ‘Academic Experiment Project’ developed by the University of Tsukuba. The VPN Gate network consists of VPN relay servers located all over the world.
How to setup VPN GATE
- Visit www.vpngate.net/en/download.aspx
- Download and install the VPN GATE client
- Open the VPNGATE client
- Choose the server you want to connect to
- Once connected your connection becomes secured and you can browse the internet safely
Continue the conversation.
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