7 Mar, 2014 @ 14:53
1 min read

Expats exposed to identity theft as public wi-fi ‘hands over’ information

laptop e

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.

Imogen Calderwood

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  1. Does anyone know how insecure a home wi-fi router is?
    Sat at ones PC, doing the banking, for instance, can data “leak” out or be intercepted? Anything is possible, of course, but just how dodgy is wi-fi? (Quite apart from obvious public hot-spots.)

  2. stefanjo,
    it’s very dodgy. In the UK if you decide to stand up against anything which benefits the elite – YOU ARE A TERRORIST and it is easy peasy for those wonderful Special Branch officers that you, not the elite pay for to intercept all your wi-fi or fixed line communication, not to mention mobile or fixed line telephone traffic.

    Travelling back from London one day in 1995 we had the good fortune to meet a TV documentary producer. Because he was producing a programme about Bloody Sunday not only was his phone tapped but his home was bugged by illegal entry. He cleverly had found a way to tell if his home had been entered and on 3 occasions it had been. None of the wiretaps were obtained legally.

    It’s strange how 1984 came and went and very few noticed that Orwell was right on the money – and that was 30 years ago.

    In case anyone missed it – if you use Yahoo and have a webcam, cuidado mucho cuidado. For me with my laptop it is easy because it did’nt come with one so it is easy to remove it.

    I’ve thought about taking a picture of my bum and training the webcam on that with the apt expression in large print just above it – KMA.

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