By Ty Holland, Cochise County Sheriff’s Assist Team Member
The new Wi-Fi Pineapple (generation 6) features dual band (2.4/5 GHz), increased power and range. One of the main uses for the Wi-Fi Pineapple is to steal user information from free Wi-Fi sites.
Free Wi-Fi from your favorite café or coffee shop can be very convenient but also very dangerous. An attacker deploys a rogue Wi-Fi network access point and users connect to it. This rogue access point is named the same as your favorite café or coffee shop access point. Most of the time a rogue Wi-Fi network access point looks the same as a real one (same spelling and signal strength).
The attacker subsequently intercepts the user communication to include but not limited to, account passwords, personal information and even family photographs. A rogue access point is very easy to set-up using a Wi-Fi Pineapple.
The Wi-Fi Pineapple is a small battery powered device measuring approximately 5.5”x4.5”x1” and costs $200.00. Wi-Fi Pineapple can be hidden in a purse or backpack. An attacker can have the Wi-Fi Pineapple set-up and intercept your information in just a few minutes using the 112 page how to guide (purchased separately).
In busy locations the attacker can attach a standard USB thumb drive for additional storage. The bottom line in protecting your valuable data is not to use a free Wi-Fi network access point.