Protecting Computers and Internet from Free Wi-Fi Hotspot hacks

You might have came across this word showing up in the wireless network list when you are at public places like airport. It seems quite simple for you but no that easy to stay safe as you thought. The Wi-Fi hotspot may not be a legitimate one and someone might have been baiting people like you.

The danger with free Wi-Fi hotspots is that you can well connect to them and use internet free like never before. But the thing is are you sure you are safe enough to login into your internet accounts and do your tasks? You might be smart enough to check HTTPS and SSL before the URLs you are about to login. The attacker i.e., the Free Wi-fi provider would steal your usernames and passwords before they sent to the respective webservers for validation. This is what we call ‘Man in the Middle’ attack. A victim can be tracked his internet activities when connected to the network an attacker offering.

Free Wifi_in_airports

How can it be hacked?

Let’s a take a tour of how the attack works and what can be hacked when it is performed.

In the scam, the Free W-Fi hotspot is in fact a hotspot. Instead, it’s an ad hoc, peer-to-peer network, set up by someone with a laptop nearby. Unless you know where to look, you won’t know it’s an ad hoc connection. And in many cases, you can use the Internet when you connect to the ad hoc network because the attacker has set up his PC to let you browse the Internet via his connection. But because you’re using his connection, all your traffic goes through his PC, and so he can see everything you do online, including all the usernames and passwords you enter for many web sites.

As you have directly connected to the attackers PC on a peer-to-peer basis and if you have setup your PC to allow file sharing, an attacker can have complete run of our shared folders, can snatch your files and plant some malware in it.

But even if you’re on a public hotspot, you may be vulnerable to snooping and unwanted visitors. To avoid this, enable your firewall while you are on a public network; be sure to use encrypted connections for POP, SMTP, or IMAP email clients; and if possible, connect to your work VPN or a VPN service provided by a third party.

You can’t actually see this coming. You will be browsing on the internet as usual and all this happens behind your blind fold. The hacker then steals what he need and what’s crucial and leaves the malware such as an infected media fi;e or document there by leaving to no option to track him down.

The security company Authentium has found dozens of ad hoc networks in airports in Atlanta’s airport, New York City’s La Guardia, the West Palm Beach airport, and Chicago’s O’Hare. And Internet users have reported finding them at Los Angeles’s LAX.

Next time you see a network naming itself “Free Wi-Fi”, beware! because it could be a scammer.

Stay safe on the Wireless Networks!

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