Community Contributed

Your information could have been stolen at any business offering wifi and you would not have known it

Community Contributed Article

  • December 7th, 2018
  • by Justin Greer

What if I told you your information is so easy to hack you may have already been hacked and may never know.

My name is Justin Greer, and many know me for my community involvement, but only a few know what I do for a living. I run a digital company in Downtown Barberton and specialize in WordPress security products and services along with cybersecurity and mobile applications. I also work with a Defense and Security company called Tactical Defense Training. I chuckle every time someone says “leave your opinions to the experts”. I like to play my cards close you could say. At any rate, now that you know what I do, you should be able to see why this topic is so important to me.

The Gig

We are surrounded by wifi everywhere we go. Places like Spectrum has set a precedent for free wifi wherever you go. This way of life has incubated severe security issues. Mobile companies have started to enable connecting to open networks by default to improve the user experience and take some load off of their systems whenever possible. They have opened each one of us up to our information being stolen.

People have given privacy up for convenience, and it should scare the hell out of you. When I say that you should be scared, you should be terrified! Let me explain it in a little bit more detail. When someone connects to wifi, all their traffic (web browsing, email, iCloud, Social Media, etc) is exposed over the network. Most places have configured these networks to limit public sniffing, but not all. Even traffic over TLS and SSL are completely exploitable.

In the event that these networks are closed to sniffing, an attacker is not out of luck. An attacker can set up a wifi signal that overpowers the business wifi with the same passwords (publicly posted most times) and then mimics the “trusted” wifi signal. Once again, you are exploitable at this point and you would never know the difference.

What data could be collected?

  • Device Type, IP, and MAC Address (collected)
  • Websites accessed (not compiled)
  • Email Username & Passwords (not compiled)
  • Facebook Username & Passwords (not compiled)

What can you do to protect yourself from being hacked like this?

  • Ensure you are connecting to the wireless network that is provided by the business. Do not assume a wireless connection belongs to anyone.
  • Do not ever connect to open wireless networks with no password.
  • Never purchase anything on a public network.


I want to ensure everyone reading this that this article by no way means that your information has been stolen or exploited. The point of the article is to point out the lack of security or concern by society as a whole. Anyone interested in hearing more about this topic or seeing proof of concept, I am planning on putting together a free course for anyone to attend to better understand how to minimize the chances of becoming a victim.

Community contributed articles are for entertainment and do not represent the views of the Our Barberton Project. Community articles should be taken as opinion from the authors perspective.

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