Beware of fake WiFi networks, cautions TRA

The Telecommunications Regularity Authority warns not all public WiFi networks are safe

Tags: Cyber crimeTelecommunications Regulatory Authority - UAE
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Beware of fake WiFi networks, cautions TRA Once the data has been stolen, hackers can then blackmail users and even use a ransomware virus to encrypt the phone and then request a hefty payment.
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  January 29, 2017

The Telecommunications Regularity Authority (TRA) has warned that connecting to "free" WiFi networks in public areas could lead to devices being hacked.

In a report by Gulf News, the TRA revealed there are fake WiFi networks, which mirror real WiFi points in hotels and malls around Dubai, but they are purposely created by hackers with the intent trick users into logging in and then steal data, including emails, pictures, and personal and financial information.  

Once the data has been stolen, hackers can then blackmail users and even use a ransomware virus to encrypt the phone and then request a hefty payment.

Gaith Al Mazeina, manager of Business Affairs aeCERT at TRA, said: "The hackers make the fake WiFi using hotels' names, for example, by adding a number to the original name and when the user logs in to the network, they can get access and steal the data and control the device. People must be careful when they connect their devices to open WiFi and make sure it contains a username and password."

"If the user have one per cent suspicion in the open WiFi in the city, then it's better not to log into it. If you are in a hotel and finds many open WiFi networks, then you must ask the hotel for the original WiFi username. People must protect their personal data and emails with strong passwords," concluded Al Mazeina.

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