GROWING numbers of attacks are being carried out via public wi-fi hotspots, Europe’s top cybercrime police offer has warned.
Logging into social network sites, banking online, or shopping on the internet leaves sensitive information easily accessible to hackers.
The hackers insert themselves between the user and the hotspot connection, simply harvesting all the data that passes between the two points.
Troels Oerting, head of Europol’s cybercrime centre, said: “We have seen an increase in the misuse of wi-fi, in order to steal information, identity or passwords and money from the users who use public or insecure wi-fi connections.”
“We should teach users that they should not address sensitive information while being on an open insecure wi-fi internet,” he added.
The warnings from Europol, which investigates organised crime across Europe, come a few months after the European Parliament turned off its public wi-fi system following a series of attacks.
“Everything that you send through the wi-fi is potentially at risk, and this is something that we need to be very concerned about both as individual users but also as police,” said Mr Oerting.
Europol advice all wi-fi users to only share sensitive information on a network that they are sure is secure.