Internet Minefield: Beware of fake WiFi spots in Rio stealing user data

If you are in Rio de Janeiro be extra careful and do not connect your devices with publically available ”Free” wifi — Researchers have exposed several malicious WiFi networks stealing personal data from connected devices.

While some crooks are busy phishing in the name of Rio Olympics there are some criminals physically running sophisticated scams by installing fake WiFi spots in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro to steal personal data of innocent users whenever they are connected with such spots.

Imagine how it is in Rio these days, full of tourists from around the world gathered together to support their teams, crazy to get an Internet connection and upload the best moments but that best moment is now turning into the worst as an IT security firm Skycure has exposed sophisticated scam where hackers have been found setting up fake or malicious WiFi networks for the tourists. 

Read: NBC Reporter hacked in Sochi! Your Phone & Laptop will be hacked as well

These WiFi spots have been discovered in Rio Galeão Airport, famous shopping malls, well-known coffee shop including Starbucks and hotel brands. So once the visitors reach Rio, they will fall victim straight away at the airport, if they are visiting a coffee shop they may also fall for the scam or even while visiting the mall they can be the target of these malicious WiFi networks; catching their attention with terms like ”free” WiFi.

According to the Vice President of Marketing at Skycure Varun Kohli: “In addition to WiFi networks, hackers have been busy creating malicious apps, also designed to steal your information and take control of your mobile device. A popular strategy is to create a malicious app that masquerades as a legitimate Olympics app, such as the app called “Rio 2016”. Several repackaged variations of this app have appeared and there are many others with names like “Olympics Rio 2016”, “Rio 2016 Olympics”, etc.”

Skycure has also launched a tool, which, based on your location, will alert you in case there is a malicious WiFi network near you. We took advantage of the tool and found several potentially dangerous networks.

Upon scanning, the map shows several malicious WiFi spots in popular places in RIO!

If you are in Rio or anywhere else remember not to connect to WiFi networks that lure you into using that connection for free.

Try to buy a local sim card with a 3G or 4G plan to use secure Internet

Avoid downloading third party apps — Always download apps from iOS and Google Play Store.

Keep your smartphone updated and use anti-virus, anti-malware protection.

Always use VPN whenever you are connected to a public WiFi – It is understandable that not everyone can afford a VPN package. In this case use free VPN from Opera for iOS and Android devices and Avira VPN for Android devices only! Yes, 100% free VPNs!

Read: Anonymous DDoS Brazilian Government Websites Because Rio Olympics

When you are in a hotel check for cable Internet connection and avoid WiFi connection provided by the hotel as previous cases have shown scary signs of malware posing a threat to the guests’ financial and personal information.

Have a safe time in Rio!


Skycure (PDF)

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