Hackers Create Fake Wi-Fi Spots to Scam Vacationers

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 1:50 PM CDT
Hackers are catching vacationing laptop users unaware.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you’re planning to take your laptop on the road this summer, pay careful attention to which wireless network you sign on to. Scammers are setting up fake wi-fi hot spots in tourist-friendly places like airports and hotels, or simply using official, but unsecured networks, Fox News reports. Once an unsuspecting traveler logs in, a cybercriminal can easily raid his computer for information.

A group of “white hat” hackers—who try to thwart “black hat” cybercriminals—conducted a tour of 27 airports, and the results weren’t pretty. “People just log in to the first robust network they see,” said a group spokesman. “We found only 3% were using a secure network.” What’s worse, many were banking online, buying stock. “These are not the kinds of things you want to do on public wi-fi,” says one hacker.