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When we have Wi-Fi router and and somebody is connected to it, they can access its settings by visiting 192.168.1.1 or some other address. If password for router access is weak then router can be taken over.

What about tethered Wi-Fi hot-spot. I am using an Android cellphone and I have many notorious friends. Is it possible for a hacker to obtain sensitive information (or get root access) if they are connected to my tethered Wi-Fi hot-spot?

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In theory yes it has its dangers like:

  • Someone can "Borrow" your connection
  • Someone can do packet sniffing

All these dangers only apply for users who are connected. But since your phone doesn't have an IP for the control panel and your control panel is local and does not need access from an IP, no they could not get to your control panel.

All the data sent, received are encrypted and there will be use of a firewall.

Just keep your password safe and you should be fine.

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If your phone has services listening on the personal hotspot interface (like a web interface or an SSH server - common on jailbroken iPhones and most likely rooted Android phones as well) an attacker can connect to that by bruteforcing the password and getting full control over your phone.

By default though, no services should be listening on the wireless interface and you are safe besides a zero-day in some Linux network-related kernel component which is something to watch out for on Android devices not getting frequent updates.

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