It appears that man in the middle attacks was a hot topic at the DefCon security conference this year, and it seems that researchers, Nickolai Zeldovich and Dina Katabi at MIT have come up with a simple and effective defense that can be implemented in our phones as well as other wireless devices.
According to Wikipedia, man in the middle attacks, as the name implies, is a form of eavesdropping whereby the attacker can eavesdrop on the conversations. The attacker can also choose to send messages to either victim pretending to be the other person by intercepting the messages that are being transmitted.
Naturally this can be a huge concern especially where enterprise users are concerned as sensitive information may be traded on such a channel, so having such sensitive information being intercepted, well, the implications are obvious. The method that the researchers have come up with involves “alternating bursts of radiation and silences”.
Basically in order for a successful man in the middle attack to work, the attacker is required to broadcast his/her own cryptographic key at the same time his/her victims’ phones do, and by adding a second encoded key, the legitimate user would be protected. No word on if and when this method and technology will be finding its way to our devices any time soon, although as our devices start to get smarter, the need for such protection will always be welcome.
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