Netherlands does not play World Cup, there are still football fans who travel to Russia to see some nice matches. In the Russian host cities, it is only paying attention with the free WiFi hotspots, part of it is really unsafe.
According to research by Kaspersky Lab data in 7.176 of the approximately 32,000 public Wi-Fi networks in the FIFA World Cup 2018 host cities is not encrypted. As visitors, it is wise to carefully handle personal data on your smartphone. The research results also show that St Petersburg, one of the host cities, is the most insecure Wi-Fi city.
It is widely known that during such large-scale events people make massive use of public digital networks for sharing experiences with loved ones via social media. At the same time these networks are used for the transfer of financial and other valuable data. That is exactly the information that third parties can intercept or abuse.
Eleven playing cities
The findings of the cybersecurity company are based on an analysis of public WiFi spots in the eleven host cities of the FIFA World Cup 2018: Saransk, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Volgograd, Moscow, Ekaterinburg, Sochi , Rostov, Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg.
The results show that not all wireless access points use encryption and authentication algorithms. While these are essential aspects for the security of a Wi-Fi network. Without these algorithms, hackers only have to sit in the vicinity of an access point to intercept network traffic and get confidential information.
The three cities with the highest percentage of unreliable Wi-Fi networks are St. Petersburg (37 percent), Kaliningrad (35 percent) and Rostov (32 percent). The safest places are relatively small cities like Saransk (only 10 percent of Wi-Fi networks are public) and Samara (17 percent public Wi-Fi spots). Almost two-thirds of all public Wi-Fi networks in these locations use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA / WPA2) to encrypt data traffic. In general, this technology is considered one of the safest Wi-Fi protocols.
However, reliable WPA / WPA2 new brands are not completely safe: even here, brute-force and dictionary attacks are possible. This also applies to key re-installation attacks.
Advice for visitors to the 2018 World Cup
- If possible, connect via a Virtual Private Network ( VPN ). With a VPN, data is transmitted encrypted via a secure VPN tunnel. This means that criminals can not read data, even if they do get access.
- Do not trust networks that are not protected by a password or use a password that is easy to guess or look up.
- Stay alert even if a network requires a strong password. For example, fraudsters can find out the Wi-Fi password of a coffee shop or fast food restaurant and then make a fake connection with the same password. In this way they can easily steal personal user data. Only trust the network names and passwords that colleagues or other acquaintances share.
- Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use. This is not only better for safety, but also for the lifetime of the mobile device’s battery.
- Not 100 percent sure of the security of the wireless network while the internet connection is still needed? Then limit the number of digital actions to basic activities such as searching for information. Do not enter credentials of social networks or e-mail services. Do not do online banking and do not enter any details of a debit or credit card.