A rogue Wi-Fi access point refers to an unauthorized or malicious wireless access point (AP) that is set up on a network without the knowledge or approval of the network administrator or owner. Rogue access points can be a significant security risk because they can be used to gain unauthorized access to a network, intercept network traffic, and potentially compromise sensitive data.
Here's how a rogue Wi-Fi access point typically operates:
1. Unauthorized Deployment: An individual or attacker sets up a wireless access point within the range of an existing network without proper authorization. This can be done by connecting a wireless router or AP to the network infrastructure without the knowledge of the network administrator.
2. Spoofing Legitimate Networks: Rogue access points are often configured to mimic the name (SSID) and security settings of legitimate networks to deceive users into connecting to them. Users unknowingly connect to the rogue AP, thinking it is a trusted network.
3. Unauthorized Access: Once connected, the attacker can eavesdrop on network traffic, intercept sensitive information (such as login credentials, financial data, or personal information), or launch various attacks like man-in-the-middle attacks, session hijacking, or malware distribution.
4. Network Compromise: If the attacker gains access to the network through the rogue access point, they may try to exploit vulnerabilities in the network infrastructure, compromise other devices, or launch further attacks on the network.