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sometimes I connect to wifi outside my home in office , restaurants and friends house. I want to know if wifi administrator can see the exact data my android phone communicates?

I am only concerned about gmail and skype apps to be precise. I believe Gmail uses some sort of encoding before data transmission making it hard to read even if administrator see the data transmission.

Please correct me if I am wrong. Also if you can tell me some security measures I can take to protect the privacy.

Thanks, kiran

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"I believe Gmail uses some sort of encoding" - google or wikipedia before stack exchange. –  Mark C. Wallace Feb 5 '13 at 18:30
    
oh really? some sort of encoding? I have mentioned that I believe it uses encoding I am more interested to know whether this encoding is enough to stop sniffer know what data mobile is communicating. I have a belief that they can corrupt data , But can they know exact data communication. I just wanted to know more details. NOM. sorry if I put question in wrong format. –  Kiran Ambati Feb 6 '13 at 10:19
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, your data is not protected by default and can be intercepted by people that administer the WIFI and other devices that transfer data on the network.

The encoding you are talking about is SSL. SSL enabled websites will protect your data from being read by attackers that can control the communication channel (WIFI, ethernet cable, ISP). Here is a good description of how SSL works.

For the data that is not protected by SSL, you can use the technology called VPN. This would encrypt and protect all your communication from being intercepted by attackers. Here are 7 free VPN services.

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Yeah I know how ssl works. Apps like gmail uses this? I am concerned about gmail app in particular. You have any idea how this app communicates with it server. Can wifi administrator see the content of email , and recipients? I know other data transfer can be read over network. –  Kiran Ambati Feb 5 '13 at 17:28
    
Yes, mobile Gmail apps use SSL that offers a very good level of protection, even better than using Gmail from a browser. –  Cristian Dobre Feb 5 '13 at 17:34
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Don't forget SSH tunnels too! –  Steel City Hacker Feb 6 '13 at 14:38
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Wifi, whether on a mobile/cell device like a phone, or a more traditional device like a laptop or computer, s Wifi... All the same issues exist for either. Basic issues pertaining to your scenario:

  1. Sniffing - Someone else sits on the wifi network relative to you and sniffs any unsecured (non SSL, for instance) traffic.

  2. Device Scanning and profile - Someone network local scans and profiles your device using something like nmap.

  3. DoS - Someone can flood your device with traffic in some manner that denies network usage. Mobile devices have few abilities to detect and manage such.

  4. MITM Attacks - Rogue APs, Rogue DNS servers... someone sets up a Man-in-the-Middle attack scenario that corrupts trusts such as SSL.

Google, Skype, etc are all prone to CIA issues relative to most of these. Google (Gmail/SSL) for instance could be corrupted via some MITM attack.

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