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What is an Evil Twin Attack?

Evil Twin Attack… have you heard this term before?  In this month’s Cybersecurity Minute, we are homing in on Evil Twin Attacks– what is it and how to prevent falling victim.

What is it?

An evil twin attack in a nutshell is a spoofing cyberattack which tricks users into connecting to a fake public Wi-Fi access point, one which almost identically will mimic the legitimate network.  Once a victim is connected to the evil twin access point, cybercriminals can access everything from network traffic to login credentials.

Cybercriminals start with wisely choosing the best location to launch this attack; typically a busy location which offers free Wi-Fi, such as library, school, airport, hotels, coffee shop, etc.  Next they can use almost any device to create a new hotspot using the same SSID (Service Set Identifier) name as the legitimate network.  They will of course go the extra mile and replicate the captive portal page of the establishment which typically the page that comes up requiring the user to enter password.  Finally, once the victim is connected, the hacker can monitor everything they do online, from scrolling through social media to banking.  And, if the victim happens to use the same login credentials for multiple sensitive accounts, this cybercriminal has just struck gold!

How to prevent falling victim?

  1. Don’t use public Wi-Fi
  2. Instead, Use your own hotspot or VPN
  3. If you absolutely must connect to a public Wi-Fi, always verify security credentials with the establishment’s staff
  4. Ensure that you have active security software installed on your device
  5. Disable auto connect to public Wi-Fi on your device
  6. Ensure 2FA is turned on all accounts and avoid logging into them using public Wi-Fi
  7. Use Private Search Engines and Browsers
  8. Create a habit of changing your passwords regularly and avoid password recycling