Dual Connected Laptop WiFi Risk

Dual Connected Laptop WiFi Risk

A dual connected laptop usually occurs when the wireless interface of a laptop is left enabled while the laptop is connected via the wired interface. The risks related to this scenario are outlined in the GAO Wireless Report and summarized in graphic below.

  1. A target laptop has a wired connection to the agency network. With wireless enabled, the target laptop automatically looks for any previously connected wireless networks by network name.
  2. An attacker with a scanning tool can identify wireless network names and deploy a rogue wireless access point with the same name as one of the previously connected wireless networks.
  3. While still connected to the agency network, the target laptop automatically connects to the rogue wireless access point, creating a dual connection, i.e., the target laptop has both an active wired and wireless connection.
  4. While connected to the rogue wireless access point, the target laptop can be probed and vulnerabilities exploited that could provide an attacker with access to the agency network through the target laptop.
  5. With unauthorized access to an agency network, an attacker is capable of destroying, modifying, or copying sensitive information.

Prevent Dual Connected Laptop Using BridgeChecker Software

BridgeChecker is a windows utility that can automatically disable/enable wireless interfaces. Whenever your computer is connected to an Ethernet port and the link state is good, the utility can automatically turns off the IEEE 802.11 wireless network interface. This conserves IP address allocation, reduces security risks, resolves dual interface routing issues, and prolongs battery life.

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