Free wifi is everywhere. It may seem like a godsend if you stumble upon a free wifi network, but watch out. A wifi network can be easily created just to steal your information.
I’m going to show just how easy it is to setup a fake free wifi network to monitor all network traffic going through it. To do this you will need two network cards, one will connect to an existing wifi network and the other will rebroadcast it out as “free wifi”. I will explore two different methods of doing this, but both have the same end result. I will use a Mac for both, but the same thing can be performed on Windows or Linux.
When developing any software it’s important to make sure everything flows smoothly. This can be tougher when it comes to network connections as they’re unreliable, especially on a mobile device where the connection can drop out frequently or can be extremely slow (if you’re using 3G).
Aside from just chucking up an error message if there’s a problem, good usability starts before you ever make your network connection. Using Apple’s reachability class lets you easily see when your iOS device connects or disconnects from the net. You can also tell whether it’s Wifi you’re connected to or 3G, good for not downloading too much and eating up all the user’s cellular data.