Posts tagged "wifi hotspots"
The free WiFi hotspot ritual is habitual. You head to your favorite café to get some work done “away from the office”. Justifying your $4 cup of 50 cent coffee with a Starbucks-approved rationalization (“I work so much more efficiently at my 3rd spot!”), you flip open your laptop, link to the free WiFi and get down to business. The caffeine primes your creativity, the bustling noise provides a canvass backdrop for your artful work and the hyper-convenient Internet access makes it easy for someone else (think organized criminal) to intercept everything you send through the air.
Tests conducted showed that security experts were able to obtain usernames, passwords and messages from phones using WiFi in public places. The tests all used volunteers so that no actual breach occurred. In cases where the iphone 4 was targeted, the information could be taken and stored without the user even knowing.
This issue is a huge problem for the UK’s nearly 5 million BT hotspots located in train stations, coffee shops, hotels, and airports. While the smartphone service providers have knows about these WiFI security flaws for some time, they have still not done anything about it.
Using inexpensive communication equipment and free software that you can download from the internet, thieves can set up bogus hotspots to start sniffing your personal information. Once you have established a connection with one of these impersonators, whether on a phone or laptop, they can start decrypting your sensitive data.