Beware the "Evil Twin" Wi-Fi Hotspot
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 20, 3007 (http://tech.yahoo.com) - Hop into Starbucks or an airport terminal and you may find yourself tempted by the inexpensive Wi-Fi service offered. Fire up your computer, browse the wireless networks available, and maybe you'll jump on a network named "tmobile" or "wayport" or some other common name among Wi-Fi service providers.
Sure enough, your browser pulls up a page asking for your credit card information... or maybe you'll find yourself with "free" access to the internet. Surprise: You might have just been punk'd by a hacker.
Such is the case of the "evil twin" hotspot, a rising danger for users who rely on public hotspots for internet access.
The trick is simple: A hacker just creates a hotspot with the same name (or a very similar one) as a legitimate hotspot nearby, hoping to dupe web surfers into connecting to the hacker hotspot instead of the legitimate one.
The goal is the usual fare: Collect user names, passwords, credit card numbers. All the good stuff.
The Los Angeles Times notes that such lookalike networks are on the rise, and though this scam has been around for many years, it seems to be rising in popularity.