Be wary which Wi-Fi network you are connecting to at your local coffee shop. The danger of fraudsters running bogus networks with the same name as the real Wi-Fi network is high, according to Jumio Inc research. But how does it happen?One of the fraudsters’ latest ploys to steal identities is to sit in a coffee shop that offers free Wi-Fi to its customers and then use his or her laptop to broadcast a wireless network that’s named exactly like the venue’s official Wi-Fi. The fraudster will use that as a launching point to “get to know” their ID theft victim.
- Coffee lovers log onto the fake hotspot, which contains malware that allows the fraudster to access their machine whilst he/she is sitting scant metres away;
- The fraudster accesses the customer’s online accounts by hacking their password using cryptography tools such as Cain & Abel, all while he sips a latte and smiles over at his victim; and
- The customer leaves the coffee shop and the fraudster moves onto his next victim, all the while amassing access to online accounts for banking, retail, and social media, ready for exploitation.
1. Coffee shops and restaurantsBetween interviews and lunch meetings, food and drink establishments are notorious for attracting both unsuspecting workers logging on to get work done and fraudsters looking for easy targets.
2. Airports and other transportation hubsThe large amount of travelers making the most of their gate times online has become a goldmine for fraudsters.
3. Hospitals and doctors’ officesGiven the potential of using a shared network to access or view personal information like medical records and payment records, medical offices can also serve as a prime spot for identity theft.
4. Libraries and bookstoresBoth of these establishments are places where people commonly go online to get work done, connecting to a shared network and putting their information at risk.
5. Apartment buildingsWhile residents are often encouraged to password-protect their personal wireless networks, many people leave their networks free of password protection in favor of convenience. This choice often puts people at risk in their own homes. Image source By Shané Schutte
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