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When "Free Public Wi-Fi" Is Bad

Honeypots (also known as "evil twins") behave much like carnivorous plants. They are set up by hackers who prey on unsuspecting Wi-Fi users by creating an AP that lures its victims by masquerading as a nice, safe source of something sweet (in this case, free Wi-Fi). Once the user has logged on, the honeypot clamps its sticky jaws shut and steals the user's sensitive data--often without the user even knowing it. Frequently, the trap is laid by broadcasting an SSID that says something as simple as "Free Public Wi-Fi."

However, just as you shouldn't accept a package from a stranger before boarding a plane, you shouldn't accept "free public Wi-Fi"--at least not without protecting yourself first. Since honeypots and evil twins are an ongoing threat, we've gathered together a few of our best articles on the subject. Read the stories below to learn more about honeypots and what you can do to avoid falling into this common trap:

The Caffe Latte Attack: How It Works—and How to Block It by Lisa Phifer

Getting Phished: Why SSID Spoofing (Still) Matters by Lisa Phifer

Foil Wireless Poachers and Have Fun Doing It  by Carla Schroeder

DEFCON to Demo New Wi-Fi Hacks by Lisa Phifer

Researchers Lure Wi-Fi Hackers by Ed Sutherland

Stories compiled by Naomi Graychase. Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.