An easy way to lose money

Restaurants and cafes are social gatherings but also work where we meet with clients and business partners, and from which we send emails and make transfers. Especially during the latter, it is better not to look at publicly accessible or even password-protected public networks, because that is what counts on the content of our criminal portfolio.

Have you ever wondered what might happen when you join an unsecured network? We open the way for cyber criminals to our computers, mails and money.

Obviously cybercriminals have already noticed this phenomenon. In the fall of 2015 they attacked the payment terminals of one of America’s largest fast food chains – Wendy’s. The company waited a long time to inform its customers. The attack lasted until February 2016, only in May the company made the news public. The hackers stole all of the most relevant data: name, credit card number, pin, and thus gained full access to Wendy’s customer portfolios.

In this case, security was not compromised and not the usual Wi-Fi network and professional software. The more we should be careful about connecting to unprotected Wi-Fi networks.

Smartphone owners are more likely to connect to unknown Wi-Fi networks than computer users. It is quite understandable, because the phone has been an inseparable human companion for some time. However, not everyone knows that popular and free “Free Wi-Fi” and “Cafe Wi-Fi” networks do not always have to be 100% safe.

A cybercriminal who establishes his own network encourages a potential victim to install a free application or certificate that is actually malicious software when he or she joins the network. There is also a danger that when a connection is not encrypted, cybercriminals take over all traffic passing through the access point. In the most drastic scenario, although it is not a common phenomenon, attackers are placing bogus BTS base stations to completely take over the telephone communication. Using a free WLAN connection can be a hassle. Sent and received data, such as e-mail messages, logins and passwords for web pages, can be intercepted by hackers. What to do in order not to become a victim of such attacks? It is best to use encrypted connections, and also be treated with extreme caution – adds Robert Dziemianko.

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Another example of hacker hacking into restaurant chains. In 2015, the Starbucks mobile app has become a victim of cybercriminals. This was also the case with bank accounts of PayPal users. The network commented on this event. It is interesting to note that users themselves are misled by the use of simple application passwords because no direct hacking has been reported.

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