On the streets of London, the German company, Finn Steglich set up a WiFi “hotspot” in pubic and waited for people to connect. When people connected to this unknown network, they received a splash page asking to accept a Terms and Conditions page to connect. Many login pages for WiFi networks will use a splash page, whether it be Terms and Conditions, a password or other login method. This DOES NOT make the network safe as the experiment proved. Unbeknownst to the users they were accepting a Term & Conditions page that required they give up their first born child or favorite pet in order to be able to use the WiFi! Many times WiFi small print will contain clauses that states information that is being transmitted can be seen, captured, shared or indemnifies the provider if a user’s data is hacked.
Now comes the scarier part…
Within only a half hour 250 devices had connected to this rogue hotspot. Many of the connections were automatic without the owner of the devices even knowing it! 32 MB of personal data was collected during the experiment. The problem with connecting to “hotspots”, even if they have a splash page, password protection or encryption, is that the users device is visible to other devices on the network. If a device is visible – it is hackable.
For residential, hospitality, commercial and retail spaces it is absolutely essential to guard users from hacking and identity theft. Client isolation technologies, like UserSafe™ technology, isolate each individual user on the network so that they are not visible to anyone else on the network.