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Warning: Free hotel Wifi is a hacker's dream

linsj

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This is why I always use a VPN on my laptop, tablet, and phone when I'm not in the office or at home where I have strong firewalls.
 
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This article is a load of nonsense and is clearly written by someone who lacks understanding of the alleged 'problem'. Hackers targetting hotel systems in order to obtain customer information is entirely different to them intercepting your data as you use the hotel wi-fi.

Any online interaction with my bank is encrypted, that encryption is the same whether I use my home network, the wi-fi at Costa Coffee or the hotel wi-fi. It's encrypted at the point of submission, it can theoretically be intercepted at any point but as it's encrypted the data is useless. The suggestion of using a VPN in this case to prevent hackers seeing your information demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of the process.

In other words. The hotel wi-fi is safe. I hate to use the phrase but in this case this article really is "fake news".
 

MULTIZ321

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This article is a load of nonsense and is clearly written by someone who lacks understanding of the alleged 'problem'. Hackers targetting hotel systems in order to obtain customer information is entirely different to them intercepting your data as you use the hotel wi-fi.

Any online interaction with my bank is encrypted, that encryption is the same whether I use my home network, the wi-fi at Costa Coffee or the hotel wi-fi. It's encrypted at the point of submission, it can theoretically be intercepted at any point but as it's encrypted the data is useless. The suggestion of using a VPN in this case to prevent hackers seeing your information demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of the process.

In other words. The hotel wi-fi is safe. I hate to use the phrase but in this case this article really is "fake news".
Thanks for the clarification.


Richard
 

isisdave

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It's been a long time since I saw a hotel portal that only asked for your room number. That's not a legitimate access lock, and it would make me wonder if data belonging to the previous user -- in that room or ANY room -- might be left in browsing history, etc.

And although your transaction with your bank is encrypted, I think that the transmission of your userid and password may not be. Given that most of us have so many that we reuse them, sniffing these transmissions on RF may get some valuable input.

I remember when Internet first came to hotels, it was all wired. Little is today. I miss that -- I think it removes one avenue of snooping.
 

buzglyd

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If I’m logging into something sensitive on hotel WiFi I just turn off WiFi and use my LTE data.
 

PigsDad

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And although your transaction with your bank is encrypted, I think that the transmission of your userid and password may not be. Given that most of us have so many that we reuse them, sniffing these transmissions on RF may get some valuable input.
Then you misunderstand how secured transmissions (https, etc.) work. All of the data (especially userid and passwords) are encrypted before transmission. No amount of sniffing will intercept non-encrypted data flowing from secured websites or apps.

Now, using a VPN adds another layer of protection, but really does little to enhance security of sites already using secure protocols (which, of course, all banks / financial institutions use).

Kurt
 
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It's been a long time since I saw a hotel portal that only asked for your room number. That's not a legitimate access lock, and it would make me wonder if data belonging to the previous user -- in that room or ANY room -- might be left in browsing history, etc.
Your browsing history is stored on your computer. You cannot retrieve a person's browsing history, passwords etc simply by using the hotel wi-fi. There is no way of me knowing what my wife or kids viewed on their laptops, tablets, phones etc despite us all using the same connection and access code.

This is the problem with such articles (no dig at Richard for posting it, it was done in good faith I'm sure), they are often written by people who don't actually understand the subject, many people themselves don't fully understand the subject but articles such as this serve only to cause confusion and unnecessary concern.
 
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