10 Types of Wireless Network Attacks & How to Prevent Them

Wireless networks have become an integral part of our daily lives, providing convenience and connectivity. However, the same wireless networks that offer so much convenience can also be vulnerable to various security threats. Let’s explore the different types of wireless network attacks, their implications, and how to protect your network from them.

Consider the following:

A study by the Ponemon Institute found that the number of wireless network attacks increased by 50% in 2022.

In 2023, the most common type of wireless network attack is packet sniffing. Another common type of wireless network attack is a rogue access point. – Verizon

Wireless network attackers are using new forms of Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks to stealthily hijack traffic. – Cyber Security News

Understanding Wireless Network Attacks

Wireless network attacks refer to malicious activities aimed at compromising the security and integrity of wireless networks. These attacks exploit vulnerabilities in wireless protocols, network configurations, or devices connected to the network.

The attacks on wireless networks are for the purpose of intercepting communications or injecting malicious code into devices that are connected to the network. By understanding the types of attacks, you can take the necessary precautions to safeguard your network infrastructure.

Types of Wireless Network Threats You Need to Be Aware of:

Rogue Access Points: An Invitation to Intruders

Rogue access points are unauthorized wireless access points that attackers set up to trick unsuspecting users into connecting to them. These rogue access points mimic legitimate networks, allowing attackers to intercept sensitive information or launch further attacks.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: Intercepting Your Data

In a man-in-the-middle attack, an attacker positions themselves between the user and the target network, intercepting and possibly modifying the communication. This allows the attacker to eavesdrop on sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial data.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: Disrupting Network Availability

Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks aim to render a wireless network or its resources unavailable to legitimate users. Attackers flood the network with excessive traffic or exploit vulnerabilities to crash network devices, causing disruptions and potential financial losses.

Evil Twin Attacks: Impersonating Legitimate Networks

An evil twin attack involves creating a malicious wireless network that appears identical to a legitimate network. When users unknowingly connect to the evil twin network, attackers can capture their sensitive information or manipulate their online activities.

Password Attacks: Gaining Unauthorized Access

Password attacks target the passwords used to authenticate users on a wireless network. Attackers employ various techniques such as brute-forcing, dictionary attacks, or exploiting weak password policies to gain unauthorized access.

Packet Sniffing: Stealing Information in Transit

Packet sniffing refers to capturing and analyzing network traffic to extract valuable information. Attackers can intercept unencrypted data packets transmitted over wireless networks, potentially obtaining sensitive information such as login credentials or financial details.

MAC Spoofing: Impersonating Authorized Devices

MAC spoofing involves altering the Media Access Control (MAC) address of a device to impersonate a legitimate device on the network. Attackers use MAC spoofing to bypass network filters, gain unauthorized access, or launch further attacks.

War Driving: Unveiling Weak Wireless Networks

War driving is the act of searching for wireless networks, often using a vehicle equipped with a wireless network detector. Attackers engage in war driving to identify vulnerable networks with weak security settings, making them easy targets for exploitation.

Bluejacking and Bluesnarfing: Exploiting Bluetooth Vulnerabilities

Bluejacking refers to the unauthorized sending of unsolicited messages to Bluetooth-enabled devices. On the other hand, bluesnarfing involves unauthorized access to a Bluetooth device’s information, such as contacts, emails, or calendars. These attacks exploit Bluetooth vulnerabilities and lack of user awareness.

WiFi Jamming: Disrupting Wireless Network Connectivity

WiFi jamming is a technique used to intentionally disrupt the connectivity of wireless networks. Attackers employ specialized tools or devices to flood the network with interference, causing signal degradation or complete network unavailability. This disruptive action hampers legitimate users’ ability to connect to the network, resulting in inconvenience and potential security risks.

Protecting Your Wireless Network

Strong Encryption: Shielding Your Data

Implement strong encryption protocols, such as WPA3, to secure your wireless network traffic. Encryption scrambles data, making it unreadable to unauthorized parties attempting to intercept it.

Network Segmentation: Reducing Attack Surface

Segment your wireless network into separate virtual networks, each with different access controls and security levels. This approach reduces the impact of a potential breach and prevents lateral movement by attackers.

Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems: Monitoring Network Activity

Deploy intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) that monitor network traffic, detect suspicious behaviour, and block potential threats in real-time. An IDPS acts as an additional layer of defence against various wireless network attacks.

Regular Security Updates: Patching Vulnerabilities

Stay up to date with the latest security updates and patches for your wireless devices and network equipment. Manufacturers release updates to address newly discovered vulnerabilities, and keeping your systems updated is crucial to maintaining network security.

How does Progressive Infotech help?

Progressive Infotech provides a comprehensive solution for monitoring wireless networks and systems for vulnerabilities. With our 24×7 NOC-SOC facilities, you gain the capability to identify and categorize your networks, regulate access by removing unnecessary permissions, and analyze the behaviour of users and entities.

By attaining visibility into your IT infrastructure, you can promptly identify wireless network threats and respond swiftly to mitigate them using Progressive’s automated and pre-defined threat models. If you’re interested in experiencing how we can assist you in safeguarding against wireless network attacks, you can book a call with us today.

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