TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Ensnared on the Wireless Web

Ensnared on the Wireless Web

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 16 Mar 2007 17:53:07 -0400

Hackers' latest tactic to steal information is setting up fake
hotspots that users unwittingly use to access Internet.

By Tami Abdollah
Times Staff Writer

March 16, 2007

As Los Angeles and hundreds of other communities push to turn
themselves into massive wireless hotspots, unsuspecting Internet users
are stumbling onto hacker turf, giving computer thieves nearly
effortless access to their laptops and private information,
authorities and high-tech security experts say.

It's an invasion with a twist: People who think they are signing on to
the Internet through a wireless hotspot might actually be connecting
to a look-alike network, created by a malicious user who can steal
sensitive information, said Geoff Bickers, a special agent for the
FBI's Los Angeles cyber squad.

It is not clear how many people have been victimized, and few suspects
have been charged with Wi-Fi hacking. But Bickers said that over the
last couple of years, these hacking techniques have become
increasingly common, and are often undetectable. The risk is
especially high at cafes, hotels and airports, busy places with heavy
turnover of laptop users, authorities said.,0,5875273.story

Expert's tips for safer surfing,0,4772862.story

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