June 24, 2018 at
Russia is one of this year’s most popular locations due to the fact that it is hosting Football World Cup 2018. However, this is a country that is very infamous when it comes to its hacking community, which is why all those who are visiting for the World Cup might unknowingly endanger their devices, as well as their personal data.
Beware of Russia’s free WiFi
This is an important time of the year for football fans, as thousands of them have gathered in Russia for this year’s Football World Cup. Those who decided to experience the World Cup might feel the need to share their enthusiasm online after each successful game, or even each goal that their team scores.
That is perfectly understandable, but one thing that all those who are currently in Russia need to remember is that this country is known for its hackers. They are crafty, capable, and they are everywhere.
One of the incidents from 2014 has involved NBC News’ reporter, Richard Enge. Enge was in Russia during Sochi Olympics, when his laptop got hacked almost as soon as he connected to a local WiFi network. Another similar incident occurred during Rio Olympics when it was discovered that free WiFi is actually malicious, and is stealing tourists’ personal data.
Public WiFi comes with many threats
When it comes to public WiFi, it is usually not safe to use anywhere, since you never know who might be connected to it too, and watching the users’ every move. Free WiFi in Russia, on the other hand, is on a completely different level.
Connecting to such free WiFi network gives hackers a large specter of different attacks to choose from. One of the methods that they can use is called Evil Twin, which is a form of a WiFi phishing attack. It clones the network provided by a router, and even uses the same name. When the victim connects to it, their system data is instantly compromised.
Then, there are War Drivers. These are, basically, cybercriminals who are illegally hacking into networks. Having an open network like free WiFi is a child’s play for them, and this group consists of professional criminals, hackers, and even those who are in competition with the entity that is providing the network.
Then, there is malware. Malware is a regular threat online, and it is really hard to avoid it. It has been around ever since the internet itself first came to be, and it has the ability to influence WiFi as well. All it takes is for malware to enter the network and wait for potential victims to connect to the WiFi. They are even capable of corrupting other networks, and to move from one to another by using the method of sending requests and then connecting to the local area networks.
Finally, there is data eavesdropping, which is basically online spying. It is another one of the oldest and most common threats, and it is present almost everywhere. Russian WiFi is pretty much the first place where you would look for this type of threat.
How to discover that the WiFi is fake and dangerous?
Of course, not every single one WiFi is malicious in dangerous, even in Russia. There are those that are safe, or at least safer, to use than others, and it is important to know how to identify them. After all, in this day and age, people depend on the internet far too much to completely give up on it.
Detecting a malicious WiFi can be almost impossible for those who are not tech savvy, or are new to the world of online threats. Because of that, Symantec’s IT researchers have created a special tool that can do it for them. The tool works by alerting the user of a fake WiFi’s located in the user’s close vicinity.
After that, it is important to always be careful not to connect to one of them, and to prevent your device to do it automatically. Another solution is to buy a local sim card, if possible, that offers a 3G or a 4G plan. Additionally, make sure that the device’s Firewall is on, and that the Sharing is off. VPNs are also a good method of protection, as well as two-step authentication, and checking for SSL.