"If you want to have a little fun, you should create a WiFi network called 'JobsKeynote'," the person sitting next to me suggested at last January's Steve Jobs Keynote at MacWorld in San Francsico.
It would no doubt result in a slew of attendees trying to log on to the alleged access point in an effort to obtain the presentation slides and other goodies.
The point is: people will log on to anything that even remotely looks like an access point just to get online or obtain data. But do you know what is behind that "Linksys" SSID?
If a hacker puts up an access point and logs all the data traffic, he could easily obtain some user names and passwords that aren't encrypted (including your email's in most cases).
The only solution is not to use access points that you don't know or trust, but until last week Apple made it a bit hard on its users to do that: the 802.11b WiFi cards (not the Airport Express 802.11b/g models) of the computer maker used to log on to any network that they could find, trusted or not.
Apple last week issued a security update that prevents users from automatically logging on to any wireless network. I applaud the update, but can't help but notice that the original move was a bit naïve, as the computer maker finally acknowledged.
No safe zone
Photo credit: Georgios M.W.
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