0

I connect to WiFi at coffee shops using VPN regularly but I'm apprehensive to join a random open network (ex. "CARRIER47393") in a residential area. Should I avoid using it (even with VPN)?

My concern is that a hacker could set up a free network, allowing greater access to data (because they have full control of the entire network "admin") vs hacker accessing the network remotely at a coffee shop ("user").

  • 2
    Do I understand it correctly that you would somehow (with VPN) trust a network named similar to a coffee shop even if you don't know if this really from the coffee shop but you would less trust a network with some unrelated name. But, wouldn't you expect that a smart hacker does a bit of social engineering and will make his network sound more appealing? This would mean that you should trust a network with a seemingly trustable name even less :) – Steffen Ullrich Jun 30 '17 at 15:25
  • @SteffenUllrich 1) assume I'm positive correct network 2) regular name + no password = suspect. Savvy enough to change name but not pass? – JBallin Jun 30 '17 at 20:15
4

Open wifi is open wifi, whether is is residential or not. A MITM can be performed on a coffee shop network just the same as it could be done on a residential network, albeit using different means.

There is no higher or lower level of security between a coffee shop's wifi and a residential wifi.

  • The difference is that the hacker has direct access to the network, and that's the essence of my question – JBallin Jun 30 '17 at 17:54
  • Can you clarify what you mean by direct access to the network? The attacker can be directly connected to the network in either scenario. – user52472 Jun 30 '17 at 18:06
  • I mean that they have complete control: access point, router, etc could configure the network however they want. For example I'm under the impression that corporations are able to monitor everything their employees do so clearly there's some kind of control a network admin can have that would be harder for a stranger to obtain – JBallin Jun 30 '17 at 20:17
  • Assume that a hacker set up the residential network and that another hacker (of equal ability) is a user of the coffee shop network – JBallin Jun 30 '17 at 20:20
  • @JBallin How do you know that what you believe to be the access point of a coffee shop isn't actually an evil twin set up by a hacker? Or that a hacker has infiltrated the coffee shop and compromised their wifi network? – Philipp Jun 30 '17 at 23:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.