Wi-Fi Flaw Allows Hackers to Lure Devices into Rogue Networks


Wi-Fi Vulnerability Allows Hackers to Trick Devices into Connecting to Rogue Networks

Security researchers have discovered a critical flaw in the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, tracked as CVE-2023-52424, which enables attackers to deceive devices into connecting to malicious networks. This vulnerability affects all operating systems and Wi-Fi clients, putting home networks and mesh networks at risk, regardless of the security protocols they employ, such as WEP, WPA3, 802.11X/EAP, or AMPE.

According to a report from The Hacker News, the vulnerability allows threat actors to spoof the name (SSID) of a trusted network, effectively "downgrading" the victim's device to a less secure connection. Once connected to the rogue network, attackers can intercept network traffic and potentially steal sensitive information.

The researchers explained that the attack exploits the fact that SSIDs are not always authenticated, and security measures only engage when a device requests to join a specific network. "In our attack, when the victim wants to connect to the network TrustedNet, we trick it into connecting to a different network WrongNet that uses similar credentials," the researchers stated. "As a result, the victim's client will think, and show the user, that it is connected to TrustedNet, while in reality it is connected to WrongNet."

For the attack to succeed, the victim must meet certain conditions, including the desire to connect to a trusted network, the availability of a separate network with the same authentication credentials, and the attacker's ability to perform an Attacker-in-the-middle attack between the victim and the trusted network.

Alarmingly, a successful SSID Confusion attack can also cause VPNs with the functionality to auto-disable on trusted networks to turn themselves off, leaving the victim's traffic exposed and vulnerable to snooping.

To mitigate the risk of SSID Confusion attacks, the researchers recommend updating to the latest 802.11 Wi-Fi standard. This vulnerability serves as a stark reminder of the importance of staying up-to-date with security patches and standards to protect against evolving cyber threats.