Seven Unattended WiFi Attacks


Do you remember what it used to be like before we had access WiFi? Think of how much harder some everyday tasks would be if we had to go back to cables for everything!

Don’t worry, we’re not going to suggest you get rid of your office WiFi. But if you’re office is going to be empty over the holidays you might want to turn it off. Not only because it will save you some money on power, but also because with enough time most wireless networks can be accessed or misused by someone. 

Here are a few ways it could happen:

  • For a couple of hundred dollars, it’s possible to setup a WiFi access point that replicates yours. This could be done secretly while you’re not around and have you or your staff accessing the Internet insecurely through it when you get back from the holidays.
  • Do you access your WiFi with a shared password? How long do you think it would take someone to guess it? Hackers use specially designed software for this type of attack which allows them to crack a WiFi password in around 10 hours. You’d probably notice someone hanging around your office with a laptop open for 10 hours during a normal week, but what about over the holidays?
  • If you’re not using newer WiFi configuration security, it can be pretty straight-forward to break into your network. These attacks typically rely on traffic being sent over the network, which will be less while you’re away, but if you have wireless printers or cameras there might be enough traffic for someone to gain access.
  • This year we learned of the KRACK WiFi vulnerability that could allow someone to view your network traffic. Again while you’re away this probably isn’t too much of a concern, unless you have automated systems transferring data over WiFi during the break.
  • Do you have a guest WiFi network for visitors? You might notice if they were using it inappropriately while you were around, but what sort of mischief could someone get up to using your Internet connection if you’re away?
  • There are devices out there that can be used to overwhelm a WiFi network, making it unusable. If you are relying on WiFi to protect your systems (e.g. for backups or security cameras) could there be value in someone disrupting these systems with one of these devices?
  • Even though there may not be something valuable happening on the network over the holidays, there likely will be when you return. If someone walking past your office wanted to have access to your network at a later stage, breaking in and installing their own WiFi into your network while you’re away could give them remote access well into the new year without you knowing.

As you prepare for your office being empty over the holidays, have a think about the following:

  • If there’s no need for you to have WiFi running while you’re away, it’s a good idea to turn it off
  • If you rely on it for keeping things secure, look into ways of being notified if there is a disruption to your WiFi
  • Lastly, be aware of the active WiFi networks around your office and if you see something new pop-up try and understand where it came from.

Sign-up to our FREE 12 Days of Threatmas program for information and advice on how to deal with some of the unique cybersecurity threats your business may run into over the holiday period.