Free WiFi? No thanks!

Eek, I knew it was dangerous, but this article on Medium really sends a chill through me:

It demonstrates the havoc a hacker with a simple device and free software can wreak on unsuspecting, laté-sipping café goers.

I never use pubic wifi, preferring to use my own mobile account … but still, if I pair another device with my phone I guess I’m still asking for trouble—even if just by unwittingly broadcasting my phone’s name. (Not sure, though, as the article isn’t very clear about that.)

What do you think of this? Do you use free wifi, and does this make you think again?


Wow, that really is scary. I knew that it happened in the back of my mind, but it’s horrid to see it spelled out. Like you, I hotspot off my phone when I need to work away from the house, which tends to be most days.

I have a data service for my phone and I rarely, very rarely connect to public WIFI.

At work we use an app for iPhones so people can read their company e-mail safely, even if they’re using a public WIFI. It provides extra encryption so if someone tries to get the information, it will still encrypted for them and only the device will be able to read it

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Thanks for posting this, Ralph. To answer your question: No, it doesn’t make me think again, because (I hope) I already take sensible precautions. I don’t own a smartphone, but I do occasionally connect to public w-fi from my tablet. I do that mainly to read the newspaper, to check the weather forecast, or to look up bus times. I can’t imagine ever doing anything that requires a password. I would never try to access email from a portable device (even in my own home or office). And as for bank account details, I don’t even store that on my desktop computer in my locked office.

But that doesn’t detract from the main message of the article. I can easily believe that what it says is completely true. It makes very interesting reading.


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I kinda wish they’d done s/hacker/cracker (though the guy in the story is really both)

Why would anyone be surprised? We get told apps do this all the time.

BTW De Correspondent is an excellent magazine, they do mostly in-depth stories on many topics… I’ve considered getting a subscription even. You can tweet stories to others w/o subscriptions and they can read that story free.


Why don’t you use proxy app like psiphon for android on public wifi.

Interesting article.

I always use an ethernet cable where ever possible. Inpractical sometimes though. It’s inpractical sometimes though, at home my other half (understandably) wont tolerate wires across rooms :stuck_out_tongue:

At university our Computer and Network Security lecturer always stressed you should turn down the power of your home or office wifi, so that the range is just far enough for you to use properly, It reduces the chance someone can intercept in the middle.

In addition, he would tell us we should try and ensure these precautions are followed: