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Kaspersky Lab Reports 25% of WiFi Internet Hotspots are Unsecured

Monday, November 28th, 2016 (9:04 am) - Score 658
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Internet security firm Kaspersky Lab has analysed 31 million WiFi hotspots from around the world and found that 22% have no security (i.e. no password or encryption), while a further 2.7% only adopt the weakest form of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption that is easily hacked.

The good news is that the majority of hotspots run the more reliable form of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption, although it’s not clear how many of those were WPA and how many used the more modern WPA2 method.

Mind you anybody who picks a weak password for their WiFi network is still putting themselves at risk and even many secured “public” hotspots are still vulnerable by virtue of the fact that they’re not completely closed networks (i.e. used by customers of pubs, restaurants etc.).

Apparently many of the countries with the highest percentage of unsecured WiFi hotspots include major tourist destinations (hardly surprising), such as France, Israel, Thailand and the USA.

At this point it’s worth noting that a separate study from Norton recently found that 42% couldn’t tell if a WiFi network was truly secure or not and 61% of consumers believed their personal information was safe when using a WiFi hotspot (here).

Similarly ISPreview.co.uk recently conducted a survey of its own, which found that 72% of our readers still prefer to get online via Mobile Broadband (3G or 4G) when outside of the house and that’s largely due to concerns about WiFi security or fiddly sign-up forms (here).

As usual some of the risk can be mitigated by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help protect your connection when going online via a public WiFi network, although most people still aren’t familiar enough with the technology.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar wirelesspacman

    I do wonder what is meant here by a “wireless hotspot”. To me it implies a “public” hotspot and not someone’s in-home wifi. Public hotspots are, really by definition, insecure regardless of whether they have wep or wpa/2 since they allow “pubic” access.

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