Interior IG Team Used Evil Twins and $200 Tech to Hack Department Wi-Fi Networks

Hackers gained unauthorized access to the Interior Department’s internal systems by breaching agency Wi-Fi networks using $200 homemade hacking kits. Luckily, the attackers were white hat hackers from the Interior Office of the Inspector General.

Earlier this year, the Interior IG’s IT audit team conducted several penetration tests at bureau offices, using easily accessible hacking tools to demonstrate the fragility of the agency’s wireless networks.

“We found that the department did not deploy and operate a secure wireless network infrastructure,” the team wrote in an audit report released Wednesday. “Specifically, the department’s wireless network policy did not ensure bureaus kept inventories of their wireless networks, enforce strong user authentication measures, require periodic tests of network security, or require network monitoring to detect and repel well-known attacks.”

To expose just how vulnerable the agency’s networks are, the pentesting work was done entirely by the IG’s in-house IT audit team, which constructed portable test units that fit inside backpacks and purses and could be operated using a smartphone. Auditors then set up in public areas near Interior offices—such as park benches—or got limited access to buildings and set to work infiltrating the agency’s networks.

Each kit cost less than $200 and used widely available open source software.

“These attacks—which went undetected by security guards and IT security staff as we explored department facilities—were highly successful,” the team wrote, noting they were able to intercept and decrypt network traffic at multiple offices.

The intrusion tests showed Interior’s poor Wi-Fi security, as well as other deeper problems with resilience.

At two locations, the team was able to go “far beyond the wireless network at issue” and again access to the department’s internal networks. The IG hackers were even able to steal the login credentials of an IT employee, gaining access to the internal help desk system and visibility into all of that employee’s open tickets.

“We also found that several bureaus and offices did not implement measures to limit the potential adverse effect of breaching a wireless network,” the report reads. “Because the bureaus did not have such protective measures in place, such as network segmentation, we were able to identify assets containing sensitive data or supporting mission-critical operations.”

The report outlines two types of attacks testers used to gain access to Interior networks: one in which the attackers deciphered the pre-shared key—like the single ID and password used to log on to a home network—and another in which they stole unique credentials using “evil twins” to access a more secure network.

In the former scenario, the team used the homemade hacking kits to eavesdrop on wireless network traffic, waiting for someone to log on or otherwise transmit encoded credentials. Depending on the quality of the password, the attacker might be able to break the encryption there on the spot. If it’s too complex, the “credentials can be transmitted to higher performance remote systems where additional efforts could be dedicated to breaking the encoding,” the report states.

“There is no control that can prevent

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Evil bully, 25, held his ex-girlfriend, 39, prisoner and battered her with bathroom door after she went out with friends

A TERRIFIED domestic abuse survivor feared she would die after her evil ex held her prisoner when she went out with pals.

Katrina Pidden, 39, was battered with a bathroom door by raging Mitchell Liversedge, 25, in one brutal attack.

Katrina Pideen was left battered and bruised at the hands of her thug ex

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Katrina Pideen was left battered and bruised at the hands of her thug exCredit: Mercury Press
She was hit with a bathroom door in one brutal attack

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She was hit with a bathroom door in one brutal attackCredit: Mercury Press
Mitchell Liversedge has now been jailed for five years

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Mitchell Liversedge has now been jailed for five yearsCredit: Mercury Press

She was also held captive by the thug in her own home in Daventry, Northants, and left with horror injuries – including one of her teeth being knocked out.

Her nightmare ordeal came to an end in September last year when a neighbour saw the brute dragging bloodied Katrina across the garden and called police.

The brave retail assistant has now spoken out about the abuse after Liversedge was caged for five years in March for four counts of ABH.

He was also convicted of one charge of false imprisonment, one count of damaging property, one for threatening to destroy or damage property, and one charge of engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship.

Katrina has spoken out about her horror ordeal

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Katrina has spoken out about her horror ordealCredit: Mercury Press
Her tooth was knocked out in one attack

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Her tooth was knocked out in one attackCredit: Mercury Press

Katrina said: “I’d split up with him and he turned up at my house and started getting out of control.

“He threw a drink over me so I took myself into the garden to get away from him.

“He came flying outside, attacked me, hitting me over the head with the kitchen chair.

“He dragged me down the garden by my finger and my finger ended up so swollen that my ring had to be cut off.

“I only had a nightie on so my skin was getting scraped on the path.

“I thought he was going to kill me.”

Katrina feared Liversedge would kill her

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Katrina feared Liversedge would kill herCredit: Mercury Press
She met the brute on a night out last year and he soon became possessive

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She met the brute on a night out last year and he soon became possessiveCredit: Mercury Press

Katrina met Liversedge on a night out in 2019 and says the first four months of their relationship was perfect.

But the thug soon became possessive and banned Katrina from having any male friends.

He also called her “horrible names” if they went out before the emotional abuse turned violent.

Katrina said: “The first time he got violent, he tried to hit me with an iron and threw a cup at me.

“He said it would never happen again but he started pushing me around, throwing me into things then it turned into slaps and then punches and kicks.”

HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call
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