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Free Wi-Fi: Ways hackers can steal your identity through public Wi-Fi

By Noir July 13, 2021, 12:54 p.m.
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Public WIFI is enticing, especially when you are low on data, particularly in public areas. Also, it is free, so why not! Over the years, attackers have improvised, and they can now steal your identity through public WIFI. And, this possibility is as dangerous as it sounds.

Now, hacking itself is a technique. It is a multibillion-dollar industry also traded on Black Markets. Hence, in this article, we discuss ways in which attackers are using Public Wi-FI to steal your information.

Fake WIFI Connections (Evil Twin)

Here, attackers target the public by setting up fake Access Points (AP). Attackers will set up a name similar to the location to make it look more natural.

Remember,  hackers can use even a mere smartphone to do this. Once you join, all information sent via these networks goes through the hacker.

The technique overrides all security measures Public Wi-Fi hotspots have. Consequently, personal information is compromised and potentially traded on the dark web.

Safety tip: Take extra caution if two or more available public networks share the same name. Plus, inquiry from the management could be vital here.

Session hijacking or "sidejacking"



By logging into your accounts, websites create cookies. Besides, one may not need to know your log-in details to orchestrate an attack. This is called “sidejacking”.

Remember, an attacker will download malware to hijack your website cookies. As a result, all your logged-in sites using public Wi-Fi are accessible.

Then, lots of personal information can be interfered with and shared on black markets.

Safety tip: Always log out after using a public hotspot. Plus, make checks on your existing log-in locations.

Packet sniffing



Now, this technique revolves around the safety of networks. Most public Wi-Fi hotspots are not encrypted. Therefore, personal information transmitted on these networks is readable by hackers. Here, hackers will only need third-party software to engage your data at their free will.

Safety tip: invest in solid encryption, e.g., VPNs

Man-in-th e-middle attacks (MITM)



A MITM attack is where a hacker gets in the middle of a connection. Typically, communication is between server and client.

Consequently, a breach of this formality is possible, and attackers will receive data before the client and server. So, hackers will use the target's information however they please.

Hackers will potentially access emails, passwords, usernames, etc. Dealings on the dark web might as well involve trading of emails and passwords, a significant threat.
Safety tip: The "S" in  HTTPS means secure. Also, avoid sites lacking this URL format at all costs.

Shoulder Surfing



By mere observation, hackers are likely to target a person using Public WIFI. Most important, the sites you visit and generally how you type does a lot for hackers.

Therefore, attackers will easily copy what and how you are doing.

Safety Tip: Be aware and more skeptical. Equally important, look who is around you and mind how you read stuff on your device. It is personal information.

Using Public WIFI is not bad. But, it comes with its threats, be alert and aware.

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