While some cybercriminals use techniques like email spoofing to trick consumers into sharing sensitive information, others use a more sophisticated approach called an evil twin phishing attack.
Here’s a breakdown of what an evil twin phishing attack is, along with how to spot and prevent it:
What is an Evil Twin Phishing Attack?
An evil twin phishing attack is a type of cybercrime where attackers create fake Wi-Fi hotspots to mimic public networks, like those found in airports and coffee shops, to steal personal data.
This type of attack works because unsuspecting victims will often think they are connecting to legitimate public Wi-Fi networks that are familiar. Once connected to the evil twin network, attackers can intercept the sensitive internet data sent over by their victims.
How Does an Evil Twin Attack Work?
With an evil twin phishing attack, the attacker creates a fake access point network with a similar title to the legitimate network and tricks unsuspecting victims into connecting.
If the victim connects, their data can go through the malicious network, and the attackers can intercept it.
By impersonating an existing trusted connection, the criminal can launch other attack vectors, including email spoofing, phishing emails, and other malicious activities, to gain access to sensitive information.
Therefore, it is important to remain on alert when surfing online or logging in to websites on unsecure networks.
Protect Devices from an Evil Twin Attack
Protecting a device from an evil twin phishing attack can be tricky and intimidating—but there are steps any organization or individual can take to increase their security in the face of this malicious attack:
- Stay aware that this type of attack exists.
- Educate users about the risks associated with accessing public Wi-Fi networks.
- Ensure secure access to corporate networks with an encryption solution.
- Encourage users to pay attention to abnormal changes in URLs when logging into websites.
- Implement two-factor authentication for online accounts.
Implementing these relatively straightforward protocols within an organization can have lasting effects on reducing the risk of evil twin phishing attacks.
Preventing an Evil Twin Attack
There are a few tools that can help prevent personal users and businesses from falling victim to an evil twin attack:
PSK: Preventing an evil twin phishing attack starts with using a solid pre-shared key (PSK). A PSK is a secret code that is shared between two or more parties to authenticate each other.
WIPS: A wireless intrusion prevention system, or WIPS, is a network security system that monitors and analyzes wireless traffic to detect and prevent attacks. A WIPS can help identify and block evil twin attacks by detecting unauthorized access points and identifying suspicious activity.
VPN: A virtual private network, or VPN, creates a secure, encrypted connection between a computer and the VPN server. This connection makes it difficult for anyone on the same network to intercept data or impersonate a user online.
Evil twin phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common as malicious actors attempt to take advantage of more people who work in places with public Wi-Fi networks.
Companies and individuals can better protect themselves and their devices from these threats by understanding what an evil twin phishing attack is and how it works.
Remaining vigilant when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks and never entering sensitive information into a website is an excellent place to start.