Ethical Hacking – Wireless Hacking and Social Engineering


Ethical Hacking – Wireless Hacking and Social Engineering

Ethical Hacking – Wireless Hacking

A wireless network is a set of two or more devices connected with each other via radio waves within a limited space range. The devices in a wireless network have the freedom to be in motion, but be in connection with the network and share data with other devices in the network. One of the most crucial point that they are so spread is that their installation cost is very cheap and fast than the wire networks.

Wireless networks are widely used and it is quite easy to set them up. They use is the most important device in a wireless network that connects the users with the Internet.

In a wireless network, we have Access Points which are extensions of wireless ranges that behave as logical switches.

Although wireless networks offer great flexibility, they have their security problems. A hacker can sniff the network packets without having to be in the same building where the network is located. As wireless networks communicate through radio waves, a hacker can easily sniff the network from a nearby location.

Most attackers use network sniffing to find the SSID and hack a wireless network. When our wireless cards are converted in sniffing modes, they are called monitor mode.

Quick Tips

To secure a wireless network, you should keep the following points in mind −

● Change the SSID and the network password regularly.

● Change the default password of access points.

● Don’t use WEP encryption.

● Turn off guest networking.

● Update the firmware of your wireless device.

Ethical Hacking – Social Engineering

Let us try to understand the concept of Social Engineering attacks through some examples.

Example 1

You must have noticed old company documents being thrown into dustbins as garbage. These documents might contain sensitive information such as Names, Phone Numbers, Account Numbers, Social Security Numbers, Addresses, etc. Many companies still use carbon paper in their fax machines and once the roll is over, its carbon goes into dustbin which may have traces of sensitive data. Although it sounds improbable, but attackers can easily retrieve information from the company dumpsters by pilfering through the garbage.

Example 2

An attacker may befriend a company personnel and establish good relationship with him over a period of time. This relationship can be established online through social networks, chatting rooms, or offline at a coffee table, in a playground, or through any other means. The attacker takes the office personnel in confidence and finally digs out the required sensitive information without giving a clue.

Example 3

A social engineer may pretend to be an employee or a valid user or an VIP by faking an identification card or simply by convincing employees of his position in the company. Such an attacker can gain physical access to restricted areas, thus providing further opportunities for attacks.

Example 4

It happens in most of the cases that an attacker might be around you and can do shoulder surfing while you are typing sensitive information like user ID and password, account PIN, etc.

Phishing Attack

A phishing attack is a computer-based social engineering, where an attacker crafts an email that appears legitimate. Such emails have the same look and feel as those received from the original site, but they might contain links to fake websites. If you are not smart enough, then you will type your user ID and password and will try to login which will result in failure and by that time, the attacker will have your ID and password to attack your original account.

Quick Fix

● You should enforce a good security policy in your organization and conduct required trainings to make all the employees aware of the possible Social Engineering attacks and their consequences.

● Document shredding should be a mandatory activity in your company.

● Make double sure that any links that you receive in your email is coming from authentic sources and that they point to correct websites. Otherwise you might end up as a victim of Phishing.

● Be professional and never share your ID and password with anybody else in any case.