Ethical Hacking Institute Course in Pune-India
Extreme Hacking | Sadik Shaikh | Cyber Suraksha Abhiyan

We are all told constantly that we should be very careful about connecting to free public Wi-Fi. Though it is an easy warning to forget about when we are away from the home or when we need to get online urgently.

In an experiment conducted by the Avast highlights why you should think twice before connecting to a public Wi-Fi from unknown sources. The company set up a fake honeypot hotspot demonstrating just how easy it is seduce people into giving up their personal data without their notice, when they are connected to a network which looks legitimate.

To create this trap, Avast set up their hotspot in a highly trafficked public location, a registration booth in Barcelona Airport for the famous tech trade-show Mobile World Congress (MWC). Close to 100,000 attendees annually, the event brings in latest and greatest of tech-using travellers, most of them are basically reliant on Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to internet.

The have researchers set up three separate public Wi-Fi hotspots in the airport region with their network names designed such that they look like legit internet connections : “Starbucks”, “MWC Free WiFi” and “Airport_Free_Wifi_AENA”, .

In less than 4 hours, more than 2,000 people got connected to these fake Wi-Fi networks, and used about 8 million data packets. The company did not store any of the data to protect people’s privacy, but the amount of information they were able to collect from unsuspecting users in this short time  frame shows how exposed we can be when connected to Wi-Fi sources that are intentionally set up for network spoofing attacks.

Among this haul, Avast has detected that: 61.7 percent of users searched for some information on Google or checked their Gmail, 14.9 percent visited Yahoo, 1 percent used dating apps and 52.3 percent had the Facebook app installed; on their devices. In almost  twp thirds of the cases, the researchers have managed to see the identity of the device.

The data mentioned above may seem to be so casual and not so sensitive, but in special kinds of technique can be used to hack the information of people in various notorious ways. Hackers may even get the access to the personal accounts of the users without their notice.

So what is the solution? As Avast recommends, try using a virtual private network(VPN) service to anonymise and encrypt your connections. Moreover using a VPN you can access the internet without any geological restrictions.
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