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One quarter of WiFi hotspots unprotected, says Kaspersky

Research shows 28% of hotspots worldwide lack password and encryption protection

One quarter of WiFi hotspots unprotected, says Kaspersky
Kaspersky Lab has warned of the dangers of unsecured WiFi hotspots.

Over one-quarter of all public WiFi hotspots worldwide are unprotected, with neither encryption or password control, according to Kaspersky Lab.

The security company says that analysis of almost 32 million WiFi hotspots around the world showed that 28% are unsecured, with no password protection or encryption, making users extremely vulnerable to interception by hackers.

The study, which gathered data from WiFI hotspots connected to by users of the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), showed that a further 3% of hotspots use the outdated Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol f, which is easily overcome with common security tools.

Kaspersky noted that many of the countries with a high proportion of unprotected hotspots are popular tourist destinations, with Korea, France and the US all appearing in the twelve worst countries for hotspot protection.

While three-quarters of the hotspots surveyed use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol, the security company warned that users are still vulnerable to the risks of weak passwords.

Denis Legezo, Antivirus Expert at Kaspersky Lab, commented: "We advise all users to remain vigilant when connecting to Wi-Fi. Don't use hotspots without passwords and don't use public hotspots to perform high-risk activities such as online banking or shopping, logging on to sites or for transferring confidential information. If that sort of traffic is intercepted by a third party, it could result in serious losses, including financial losses. And of course, we strongly recommend using additional measures to protect traffic, such as VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology."

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