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7 On Your Side: Tips on how to protect yourself from WiFi hackers

7 On Your Side: Tips on how to protect yourself from WiFi hackers. (Photo: ABC7)

7 On Your Side goes undercover to set up temporary public Wifi hotspots all over the District to demonstrate just how easily you can be hacked.

With help from Coronet, a cyber security firm, the I-Team watches as people log on unaware hackers could be lurking.

“I opened the Wifi network called FreeWifi a minute ago. Have 5 people connected already. They will set up what we consider, an attack node. Which means a Wi-Fi hotspot they control completely." says Dror Liwer, Chief of Security for Coronet.

Our second Wifi hotspot at Dupont Circle.

"Check this out. I know her name. I know her last name. I know she is on an I-Phone,” adds Liwer

A former cybercriminal who we won't identify is talking publicly for the very first time and says he's self-taught like most hackers and public Wifi is prime hunting ground.

"Any public Wi-fi or wireless network can be compromised thru multiple attack vectors,” adds the former cybercriminal.

At the Lincoln Memorial we drop our last WiFi hotspot.

"17. We are up to 17. I have 3 devices. One is probably a lap top,” adds Liwer.

The FBI says in 2017 hacking victims in the U.S. lost 77 million dollars.

During our investigation we didn't get into anyone's private information. We never hacked because it's illegal.

"A cyber-criminal is pretty much exclusively going to be financially motivated,” says our former cybercriminal.

Hackers use what's called an evil twin. It mirrors a WiFi you used before so your phone automatically logs on.

“I can pretend to be that office email system and lure you to give me your user name and password. From that moment on I have your credentials and I can be you,” adds Dror Liwer.

Hackers then use a multi-phased attack including boldly reaching out for more.

"When I call them for example later to get something out of them and I know their daughters name and I know their place of work,” says Liwer.

"They think you are legit,” says I-Team Reporter Scott Taylor.

“Ya! They will never think I am an attacker,” answers Liwer.

So you won't be the next victim: Routinely update your software's security. Make your password is at least 12 characters long and complex. Use multi-devices in order to log in and back up your files.

If you don't take any security measures on public wi-fi, you could be hacked.

"Too me you might as well give the hackers your information and hand over your money because that is what you are doing, really,” Liwer.

So you won't be the next victim, take these steps to insure you are safe while using public Wi-Fi:

  • Routinely update your software's security.
  • Make your password long and complex.
  • Use multi-devices in order to log in and back up your files.

If you don't take any security measures on public Wi-Fi, you could be hacked. Check out the link to see the cyber threats around you.

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