Protect Your Network: Stop Rogue Access Points
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Rogue access points allow attackers to steal data and launch attacks against networks while simultaneously taxing bandwidth usage heavily and costing businesses money.
Unauthorized access points (APs) may have been installed by either outside hackers or even employees in their facility, making detection more challenging than normal. One method to quickly spot one is using a scanning tool to inspect your facility.
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An unauthorized access point can expose sensitive company data that should remain within, such as passwords and cardholder data, which could expose important vulnerabilities that must remain protected. Furthermore, such an action could cost your business money as it consumes bandwidth, raising service provider bills exponentially while slowing employee internet connections and impeding their ability to work effectively.
Unfortunately, most unauthorized wireless access points aren’t set up with malicious intentions in mind. Employees typically create these APs because they want to use home Wi-Fi devices in the office due to faster connections at home or because their work is being interrupted by waiting for corporate networks to respond quickly enough.
Therefore, regular scanning of wireless networks is imperative in detecting these unauthorized APs and taking action before they cause problems.
A rogue AP could be used for malicious purposes and spy on employees’ work and personal communications, including their website visits or files they download – this information would then be sent back to a server so hackers can gain access.
Rogue access points can also be used against companies directly; for instance, they could launch a denial-of-service attack against networks or deploy malware, as well as gain unwarranted entry to company systems, including security cameras and other hardware.
Rogue Access Points (APs) can take the form of physical devices like wireless routers or software applications that create wireless hotspots on devices, either without permission from network administrators or pose serious security threats.
To minimize risk, an effective wireless network management solution must be in place, which includes both a WLAN infrastructure management system and a network monitoring solution. In addition to these tools, a time-limited amnesty program that encourages staff members to report unauthorized access points may help mitigate risks more efficiently; rather than being seen as coercion or punishment for not knowing more, such a program should be seen as an opportunity to help the organization improve security measures.
Unauthorized access points installed by hackers or employees increase an organization’s attack surface. They don’t utilize the same security features as legitimate wireless networks, aren’t monitored by their security team, and allow easy access to larger networks; should cybercriminals exploit these points, they could cause significant harm.
An unauthorized access point gives hackers the tools necessary to gain entry to confidential company data and monitor activity on its network. They do this by placing malware on an unapproved wireless device, which then sends out harmful requests directly to users – for instance, redirecting them to websites designed to harvest sensitive data or listening for traffic that arrives and listening out for suspicious signals from insider threats or the like.
Rogue APs can also be used to spread malware to devices connected to the company network, including work-from-home devices, third-party devices, and physical security systems. Once infected devices connect, they may engage in harmful activities that harm their employer, such as stealing information or performing denial-of-service attacks against it.
Unauthorized access points often result from inadequate cyber hygiene practices. Healthcare organizations, for instance, often prioritize patient safety over cybersecurity measures, leading staff not to follow basic cybersecurity best practices and making it easier for attackers to exploit healthcare facilities by creating an unauthorized network, spoofing the hospital network, and creating rogue access points that mimic its real network.
Rogue access points can be established either by hacking into an organization’s network or using social engineering techniques. A cyber adversary could use a laptop to establish wireless access to an authorized AP on the company network before connecting their own rogue AP for unauthorized entry to it.
There are various methods available for detecting Rogue Access Points (APs), such as wireless sniffers. One of the easiest is NetStumbler, a free tool that displays all wireless signals broadcast in an area. Simply walk towards any signal showing strength from questionable APs until they become apparent to you, and you know their location.
Rogue access points (APs) are wireless devices installed without permission on networks without their owner’s knowledge, often by hackers to harvest personal information like usernames and passwords from unsuspecting network users. Hackers also employ these rogue APs as tools for network attacks such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks.
Cybercriminals with access to an unauthorized wireless access point can use passive and active interception methods to intercept data flowing through networks. Passive interception involves scanning for Wi-Fi signals on networks and capturing them as they pass. Active interception occurs when a rogue AP directly manipulates user devices in order to intercept their data or gain entry.
Hackers find it easy to set up fake access points that appear as legitimate company networks. Therefore, it’s vitally important that your entire network – not just wireless connections – is regularly scanned for unauthorized APs to protect yourself against cybercriminals who could steal your data.
Comprehensive Rogue Access Point Cybersecurity involves several layers: physically protecting your network, isolating endpoints, and training employees. Once an untrustworthy access point has been identified, immediate steps should be taken to implement new security measures – this may involve setting up an amnesty program where staff can admit they mistakenly connected to it, but be mindful not to pressure or make your employees feel guilty during this process – such as training on Rogue Access Point Prevention as well as general cyber threats.
Rogue access points (APs) pose a substantial threat to any private network by providing an entryway past firewalls and security devices, offering backdoor entry points into it. Furthermore, they can create wireless hotspots – another reason it’s essential to regularly scan your entire network for these unauthorized APs – even though they might not pose a direct threat to employees, they represent a major risk for businesses of all kinds and must be eliminated immediately. Furthermore, should one be found and documented, a proof will need to be produced that proves it has not posed any threats?
Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) bring great flexibility to business networks, but these devices can also be vulnerable to vulnerabilities, misuse, and attacks from rogue wireless access points known as rogue access points. As a result, your organization could experience several costly repercussions from these access points’ existence, including data theft, identity theft, malware & ransomware attacks, damage to the network infrastructure, and lost revenues.
Rogue access points (APs) can be installed by technically savvy employees seeking the convenience of wireless internet in an office environment without seeking approval or knowledge from IT. They may also be set up by disgruntled employees or contractors or cyber adversaries searching for ways to bypass authentication controls and monitor networks.
Rogue access points (APs) pose a threat because they can intercept personal data like passwords. Rogue APs do this through two methods – passive interception and active interception. Passive interception collects the user’s footprint by monitoring DNS requests and other Internet traffic, while active interception gathers this information directly. Active interception exposes user data such as what websites they visit and how they use them, while passive interception cannot change any such data directly; active intercept can even alter data by reading it live and altering it immediately; for example, if a rogue access point knows someone is depositing money via online transfer to their bank account via an online transfer, it could redirect that request directly to its own banking website from which attackers could then withdraw the funds from.
Rogue access points not only collect PII but can also cause irreparable harm by siphoning off bandwidth and slowing the internet connections for all users – this will lead to an exponentially higher internet service provider bill and may cost your business significant revenue.
Rogue APs may also be used to distribute viruses, key loggers, and pornography across your network and devices connected by employees who access it – this can damage both your reputation and hamper team productivity.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.