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Hackers Go for the Gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics

sochi_winter_olympics_400In Sochi, Russia, the world’s best athletes aren’t the only ones having spent years preparing for the Winter Olympics. Russian hackers have also readied themselves for the world’s arrival. Hackers have tapped every public WiFi network in the vicinity of the games. We can learn a thing or two about the WiFi problems in Sochi.

The extent of the hack was recently reported on by NBC. Before the games, NBC investigative reporters in Russia made dummy accounts with attractive information, and then used new mobile devices to find out what would happen when logging onto public WiFi hotspots. What they found wasn’t pretty. In many cases, the connected devices were instantly hacked, giving the hackers access to all the information on the device. You can see the full report from NBC here:

This is scary stuff for anybody visiting Sochi looking to cheer on their country and use their smartphones to keep in touch with friends back home. A hacker using public WiFi to steal information isn’t a new tactic. In fact, it’s very likely that there are several of these tapped WiFi networks in Los Angeles. Hackers have the ability to piggyback onto a legitimate public WiFi network in order to hack your phone or laptop. They can even use their own wireless router to create a fake WiFi network and give it a name meant to fool users, like “Pasadena Coffee Shop Free WiFi.”

Considering how sensitive your personal data is on your smartphone, it’s vital that you’re aware of the risks associated with using public WiFi, and that you have a mobile security solution in place that will keep out a hacker’s prying eyes. Well attended public events like the Olympics are targeted by hackers. For a place like Russia, the solution may be as simple as not using one’s smartphone altogether. Another security measure that will protect your personal information when visiting hacker hotspots is to put your mobile device on “airplane mode.” This is a great way to still have use of your essential tools, like your camera and clock, while keeping others out of your device.

In the same way that TMS can protect your IT infrastructure, we can help set up your mobile device with a great security solution. We can also help educate you on what WiFi traps you need to be on the lookout for, so you don’t make a costly wireless connection. To learn more about how to protect your personal data from wireless hackers operating all over the world, give TMS a call at 1 (626) 737-2960.