Business Travel Blog

Risky Business When Using Airport WiFi Networks

The next time you sign into an unsecured WiFi network at the airport to pass time before your flight, think first about the cybersecurity, or lack thereof, on these open networks.
 
A report recently came out documenting and researching the Threat Index regarding at which US airports you are most likely to be hacked if using the free WiFi network. It’s possible that your electronic devices become targets for cyberattacks, malware, and other risks that jeopardize the security of your electronics.
 
The network susceptibilities allow attackers to gain access to such personal information found on cloud apps like Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365. It’s as simple as sending malware to the device and the cloud, which then gives hackers the opportunity to meddle around.
 
Over the course of five months, a study was conducted on over 250,000 devices at the 45 busiest airports in the US. With an adequate risk level being a 6.5 and below, six of these airports scored above that.
 
San Diego International Airport was the unfortunate winner as the riskiest airport for devices to be hacked, scoring a 10 in the threat index study. The analysis found an available network called #SANfreewifi that was running an ARP Poisoning attack, which was the fake, but seemingly legitimate, access point for travelers to use.
 
Moving forward, travelers should make sure they are using up-to-date security solutions on their devices that can detect both malicious networks and attackers. It’s important to only connect to networks you can identify and are familiar with.

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