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View Full Version : Any Security Risks from Using an Open Wireless Network?



CosmicSunset
05-26-2013, 11:18 AM
Is there anything to be aware of regarding security and open wifi networks? Seems like the important data is already encrypted (authentication, banking apps, etc) but I'm wondering if there are any direct attacks on the phone that could take place or if there is any network traffic that's not encrypted and maybe should be.

CosmicSunset
05-26-2013, 11:22 AM
I forgot to say I was also wondering if there are any ROMs that have an emphasis on privacy and security. It's amazing how much of my life is in this phone.

clothednblack
05-26-2013, 12:10 PM
The quick answer is that it's really not safe to connect to an unknown open wireless network (a.k.a., "piggybacking" or logging onto someone's wi-fi network without their permission or knowledge), particularly if you're going to be transferring any kind of sensitive information. The reason is that any and all information sent over an unsecured wireless network -- one that doesn't require you to enter a WPA or WPA2 security code -- is information that is sent in plain sight, so to speak, for anyone to grab over the air. Just by connecting to an open network you are potentially opening your computer to anyone else on that wireless network.
Risks of Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

If you log into a website or use an application that sends data in clear text over the network, that information can be easily captured by anyone motivated to steal another person's information. Your email login information, for example, if not transferred securely, would allow a hacker to access your email, and any confidential or personal information in your account, whenever they want -- without you knowing. Similarly, any IM or non-encrypted website traffic can be captured by a hacker.

Also, if you don't have a firewall (or it's not configured correctly) and you forget to turn off file sharing on your laptop, a hacker can access your hard drive over the network, accessing confidential or sensitive data or launching spam and virus attacks pretty easily.
But someone would need to be there looking for that information.