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Is Nothing Safe Anymore?

When I connect my laptop to Wi-Fi hotspots I’m usually pretty careful.  I look at the name of what I’m connecting to and make sure it looks reasonable.  I know it’s no guarantee but if there is only one wi-fi hotspot with the airport name there’s a pretty good chance it’s the one I’m looking for.  Apparently the new trend among cyber criminals is fake hotspots in vacation areas:

Cybercriminals are targeting travelers by creating phony Wi-Fi hot spots in airports, in hotels, and even aboard airliners.

Vacationers on their way to fun in the sun, or already there, think they're using designated Wi-Fi access points. But instead, they're signing on to fraudulent networks and hand-delivering everything on their laptops to the crooks.

I’d be especially intrigued by that hotspot on the airplane.  Even though I know it’s probably not there’s a pretty good chance I’d give it a try.

It’s completely different with my iPhone.  I’ll connect to anything with the hope of getting a faster connection. Wi-fi hotspot named “crooks”?  Probably the name of some living nearby.  How bad can it be?

I remember a scam years ago where crooks put false fronts on ATM machine.  You use it normally and it captures your information.  It’s one of the ways of “skimming” your information.

Researchers now say they can log your key strokes by “skimming” of your power.

In the power-line exploit, the attacker grabs the keyboard signals that are generated by hitting keys. Because the data wire within the keyboard cable is unshielded, the signals leak into the ground wire in the cable, and from there into the ground wire of the electrical system feeding the computer. Bit streams generated by the keyboards that indicate what keys have been struck create voltage fluctuations in the grounds

The article also says they can use a laser bounced of your laptop to capture the vibrations from my typing and identify what I’m typing.  That one sounds a little harder to pull off. 

I think all this is sending me a message.  I’m not taking a computer on my next vacation.  Well, I can dream can’t I?

Print | posted on Sunday, July 12, 2009 5:05 PM | Filed Under [ Miscellaneous ]

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# re: Is Nothing Safe Anymore?

Take your laptop on vacation?! C'mon, Bill! You have got to learn to UNPLUG! Go to one of those all-expenses-included resorts in Jamaica and I'll guarantee you that the last thing you'll be thinking about is your computer. :-D.
7/20/2009 5:47 PM | AjarnMark
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