“What’s the first thing we do when we arrive at our new hotel? Search for and connect to the Wi-Fi,” Chris Wiles writes for BetaNews. “Any wireless connection which we think resembles the hotel network. We often try and do this at the airport, too, somewhat care-free about the network we connect to — as long as it’s free and works, we’re ok, right?”

“Wrong. Security expert Jim Stickley, reporting on behalf of Today, decided to run a test at a hotel in Cancun, Mexico, to see how easy it is to fool people to connect to a rogue network,” Wiles writes. “With permission from the hotel, where the regular network was called ‘FiestaRewards’, he setup a ‘FiestaRewards Pool’ wireless network around the pool area and waited to see who would connect. Stickley’s view was hotel guest would think ‘we’re at the pool, that must be the stronger signal down here, I’ll use that one’ and he’s not wrong.”

“Not only did people simply connect to the network without double-checking security or asking the hotel whether it was legitimate, people started using the network to pay for online purchases, checking their flights, logging in to their email and carrying out their business from the ‘free’ network,” Wiles writes. “As the network was completely unprotected, Stickley was able to extract credit card information, their email address, passwords and much more.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We use TunnelBear’s VPN service while using public Wi-Fi. TunnelBear lets users easily and quickly choose from servers located around the world in 20+ countries. TunnelBear offers unlimited data for $4.99/month.

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