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Tricky, Tricky!

September 14th, 2006 · 1 Comment

So, here’s an interesting scam (or probable scam) I noticed just a few minutes ago. I’m sitting in a free WiFi cafe in Adams Morgan called Tryst. Their open network is, creatively enough, called “tryst.” But I’m also detecting an ad-hoc computer-to-computer network called “tryst.” And if, as happens every couple hours here, the main Tryst network goes down for a few minutes, it appears that my machine decides that one network named “tryst” is as good as any other, and automatically tries to connect to the computer-to-computer network.

My guess? Some crafty person deliberately set up their ad-hoc network with this name in order to exploit that default connection feature and snag data. Now, my understanding was that it’s easy enough to packet sniff on an open WiFi network that this shouldn’t really be necessary, but it’s been a long time since I cracked an issue of 2600, so who knows.

Tags: Tech and Tech Policy



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Sandy // Sep 14, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    They may not just snag data, but actually try to gain control of your machine. There are lots of attacks that are a lot easier if you join a trusted network than if you’re equals on a public network.

    I think if you select “connect to preferred networks” (System Preferences -> Network -> select “Airport” from the “Show” popup menu) you can prevent it just switching when the main Tryst network goes down.