“Social engineering” is hacker-speak for conning legitimate computer users into providing useful information that helps the hacker gain unauthorized access into the computer system.
Seems like everyone has become the recipient of mysterious e-mails promising untold wealth if only one helps a wealthy foreigner quietly move millions of dollars out of his country. The venerable Nigerian Scam has discovered the goldmine that is the Internet. Beware — there’s still no such thing as “something for nothing,” and the contents of your bank account will end up with these wily foreigners if you fall in with this.
Likewise, look out for mailings announcing you’ve won a foreign lottery you don’t recall entering or claiming that because you share the surname of a wealthy person who died without leaving a will you’re in line for a windfall inheritance.
The next time you’re at an airport looking for a wireless hot spot, and you see one called “Free Wi-Fi” or a similar name, beware — you may end up being victimized by the latest hot-spot scam hitting airports.
How the attack works:
First, let’s take a look at how the attack works. You go to an airport or other hot spot and fire up your PC, hoping to find a free hot spot. You see one that calls itself “Free Wi-Fi” or a similar name. You connect. Bingo — you’ve been had!
The problem is that it’s not really a hot spot. Instead, it’s an ad hoc, peer-to-peer network, possibly set up as a trap by someone with a laptop nearby. You can use the Internet, because the attacker has set up his PC to let you browse the Internet via his connection.
But because you’re using his connection, all your traffic goes through his PC, so he can see everything you do online, including all the usernames and passwords you enter for financial and other Web sites.
In addition, because you’ve directly connected to the attack PC on a peer-to-peer basis, if you’ve set up your PC to allow file sharing, the attacker can have complete run of your PC, stealing files and data and planting malware on it.
* The above attacks are currently taking place at USA airports but this is totally possible in any public area!!!