- Hackers can spoof Wi-Fi networks that you devices are looking for
- Once a hacker spoofs a Wi-Fi AP, your data is as good as theirs
- Protect yourself from hackers and turn your Wi-Fi off when you’re not using it
Call me a tinfoil hat kinda guy if you really want, but if you truly care about your security and the safety of your data, then you really need to crank your awareness up to 10. Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated, and the technology they use to steal your crypto is becoming more powerful and more affordable.
But, did you know, with the right piece of kit, a hacker can see everything you do on your mobile phone without you even knowing? You’re going to want to turn the Wi-Fi off on any devices you take out of the house when they’re not connected – here’s why!
Mr Robot is True… Kind of
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mr Robot, you’re probably laughing at his “hacking skills”. But, Rami Malek is actually using kit that hackers and pen testers from around the globe actually use in real life. That’s right, every single clip of hacking is legit in Mr Robot – how spooky is that.
A hacker can pre-load innocent looking USB drives and cables with scripts that can place back doors into your computers, networks and much more. But the scariest part of all is what they can do with your devices that are searching for Wi-Fi networks – simply because they don’t need physical access to your stuff.
That’s Not Wi-Fi… It’s a Hacker!
When you head away from a network that your device can connect to, it constantly sends out signals searching for a network it knows so that it can automatically connect. Hackers can use what’s called a Wi-Fi Pineapple to listen out for these requests and they’ll gather a huge list of networks that your phone is searching for.
Once they have a list, they can then broadcast a network from their device with the name of an unsecure network that your phone is searching for, your phone will connect and bam, the hacker can see everything you’re doing. So, next time you’re connecting to Starbucks free Wi-Fi or the airport Wi-Fi, you might want to think twice…
What Can Hackers See Using This Method?
First up, the skills required to pull off this man in the middle attack can be learned online in less than 15 minutes, and you can also pick up a Wi-Fi Pineapple for less than $150 – you don’t need a license or anything to own one like you do a gun. The whole attack takes less than 15 minutes to complete and have you connected to their fake network.
The hackers using this type of attack can see any data that your phone sends to the world that’s unencrypted. Now, you might think that everything is encrypted these days, but you’d be surprised at the amount of stuff out there that doesn’t have any encryption at all. There are a LOT of cryptocurrency wallet apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store that don’t use proper encryption, so stick to the better-known apps to be extra safe.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Once you realize the potential repercussions of these types of hacks and exploits that hackers can use, you’re going to want to protect yourself as fast as possible. The best way is to turn your Wi-Fi off when you’re not connected to a network, the same goes for your Bluetooth as well. This will prevent your phone from sending out the cries for mommy network so that hackers can hear it.
But, we know that sometimes you’ve got no choice but to connect to an open Wi-Fi. When you do this, make sure you’re connected through a VPN. This tunnels your traffic and encrypts EVERYTHING, meaning if someone is hosting a fake Starbucks Wi-Fi and you connect to it, the hackers can’t see anything you do or get their hands on your data.
Knowledge is power. Make sure you’re as safe as possible, especially when it comes to keeping your crypto safe from sneaky hackers.