THE HEAD of Europol's cybercrime team has told the BBC that people should only use trusted WiFi networks to send data.
That would be good advice, if we could trust any networks in this post-PRISM world.
In the fantasy land where we can trust some networks, Troels Oerting told the BBC that an increasing number of hacking attacks prompted his warning.
He added that Europol has seen a spike in attacks and regularly helps countries bounce back from cyber snarfing.
"We have seen an increase in the misuse of WiFi in order to steal information, identity or passwords and money from the users who use public or insecure WiGi connections. We should teach users that they should not address sensitive information while being on an open insecure WiFi internet [connection]," he said.
"They should do this from home where they know actually the WiFi and its security, but not if you are in a coffee shop somewhere you shouldn't access your bank or do all of these things that actually transfer very sensitive information."
Oerting does not recommend the use of WiFi hotspots that might have been interfered with, and noted that sometimes bad actors will fake a hotspot so that it looks like a legitimate one that you might find in a coffee shop.
Man in the middle attacks are most likely to affect coffee and cake web surfers, he added, with a warning that regardless of what people do and where they do it, using WiFi is like painting yourself with honey and dangling over a bear pit.
"Everything that you send through the WiFi is potentially at risk, and this is something that we need to be very concerned about both as individual users but also as police," he said. µ
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