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When non HTTP/S data is sent over Wifi, can that data be seen by other machines that happen to also be connected to that same access point?

Does the privacy of the HTTP data depend on the encryption mode of the network?

  • What do you mean? The title says the Wifi network is encrypted, while the body asks about clear text being sent over it. Is the clear text encrypted before it's sent or is it sent “over the air” directly? – David Foerster Nov 21 '14 at 12:47
  • @DavidFoerster - Edited to be more clear – Christopher Nov 21 '14 at 13:07
  • I want to answer "No", but.. Body must be at least 30 characters... – F. Hauri Mar 22 '15 at 17:34
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Edit: Reading this post: Are WPA2 connections with a shared key secure? I realise that I know too little about the topic.
Original post remains below.

Does Wifi encryption create a private tunnel between the adapter and the accesspoint?

No. Not even with 802.1X Authentication. -> See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.1X#Shared_media

When non HTTP/S data is sent over Wifi, can that data be seen by other machines that happen to also be connected to that same access point?

Yes. If you're logged in to the same WiFi (and connected to the same base station on the same channel if there are multiple ones), then you can usually listen to all other participants. It's basically as if you were connected into the same wired-LAN-hub: Everyone hears everything.

Unless you're too far away from some node in which case that node is hidden to you and you won't be able to hear it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_node_problem

Does the privacy of the HTTP data depend on the encryption mode of the network?

No. Not if somebody is properly logged in to the same WiFi.

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No, the privacy of clear text data does not depend on the encryption mode of the network, assuming that other (legitimate) machines are connected to the same access point.

By default machines will not show (clear text data) traffic of other machines, however it is possible to do so using tools that poison the ARP table, this is called (you guessed it right) ARP Poisoning or ARP Spoofing. Using this technique it is possible to obtain clear text data sent and received from the access point.

Wifi does not create a private tunnel between the adapter and the access point, as in a wired environment the NIC does not have a private tunnel to a switch.

  • 2
    arp poisoning on a wifi network... Just sniff the network – Lucas Kauffman Nov 21 '14 at 5:44

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