Tests conducted showed that security experts were able to obtain usernames, passwords and messages from phones using WiFi in public places. The tests all used volunteers so that no actual breach occurred. In cases where the iphone 4 was targeted, the information could be taken and stored without the user even knowing.
This issue is a huge problem for the UK’s nearly 5 million BT hotspots located in train stations, coffee shops, hotels, and airports. While the smartphone service providers have knows about these WiFI security flaws for some time, they have still not done anything about it.
Using inexpensive communication equipment and free software that you can download from the internet, thieves can set up bogus hotspots to start sniffing your personal information. Once you have established a connection with one of these impersonators, whether on a phone or laptop, they can start decrypting your sensitive data.
While this is a huge issue, identity theft experts have found that a bigger problem is when these fake WiFi hotspots ask you to pay for the service and then gain access to your credit card number. Thieves state that once they have your personal logins and your credit card number, they can do almost anything, including buying gifts, purchasing gift cards for any amount, wire transferring funds to themselves, in addition to other methods for turning your privacy into profits.
Free WiFi comes with a huge price – your privacy.