Skip to main content

Windtalker Attack May Get Personal Info from Mobile Wifi

By November 29, 2016May 25th, 2021Blog, Cybersecurity

windtalkerThere’s a new attack vector to be worried about called “Windtalker.” It allows a hacker to take control of a WiFi hotspot and reverse-engineer keystrokes made by users who are typing via their touchscreens. While that sounds like magic, there are some simple principles involved, and the hackers are merely taking advantage of these.

One of the protocols used by WiFi signals is CSI, which stands for Channel State Information. These are simple radio waves, and when a user types on his or her touchscreen, each letter depressed slightly alters the CSI signal.

If these are intercepted, they then can be reverse-engineered to guess at the information the user in question was typing. This technique is most often to intercept passwords.
Windtalker is still in the earliest stages of its development, but already has a 68% accuracy. Even an inaccurate password guess is helpful, because the hackers can use this as a starting point, then use brute force methodologies to get the rest of the password in question.

This is grim news. Basically, it means that any time you use a public WiFi network, you are at risk.

It’s even worse from the perspective of a business owner, because if you offer your clients free WiFi as part of your service and a hacker intercepts his or her passwords while on your system, it becomes your problem.

The question, then, is what’s the current state of your firm’s digital security?

If you’re not sure, give us a call today. You’ll be speaking with a knowledgeable member of our team who will be happy to discuss your current situation, then analyze and assess your firm’s digital security.

If flaws or weak points are found, we’ll work with you to create a plan to bolster your data security and minimize your risks.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.