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CCTV report shows public Wi-Fi connections are unsafe

CCTV report shows public Wi-Fi connections are unsafe

Staff Reporter

2014-06-22

Wireless internet connections may have considerable hidden security threats, according to a report by China’s state broadcaster CCTV that suggested some free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places such as train stations and coffee shops might allow the private information of internet users to be stolen easily without them being aware of it.

Chinese media outlets had reported earlier that a woman was swindled out of 2,000 yuan (US$320) after connecting to a free Wi-Fi hotspot.

CCTV and engineers from security software company Kingsoft carried out an experiment by setting up two free Wi-Fi hotspots as bait in crowded areas where no password was required to connect.

The hotspots had soon attracted dozens of connections from users of smartphones, tablet computers and personal computers. These people’s every move on the internet was monitored closely and their private data including account information on chat service WeChat, shopping website Taobao and microblogging service Weibo could be captured.

Worse still, it is not considered safe even to log on to the internet using one’s own wireless router at home.

Zhao Yu, a Kingsoft engineer, said hackers can crack the Wi-Fi code of people using wireless internet at home and steal account and password information at the backend of routers and take control of the devices. Once they implanted a backdoor program in the routers, hackers were able to steal the owners’ information.

The majority of internet users never changed their password, making it easier for hackers, said Li Tiejun, a Kingsoft engineer.

The company’s engineers suggested people should be cautious while connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas and avoid shopping online or logging on to their bank accounts through public connections.

They also advised that users turn off their Wi-Fi settings to prevent their devices from linking to hotspots automatically, as well as making sure their passwords are as difficult as possible to crack. They recommended that all smartphones and computers be installed with security software.

 

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About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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