Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sochi Olympics Visitor's Devices Being Hacked

Visitors visiting Sochi for this year's Winter Olympics are facing a huge privacy concern according to a new report by NBC.

In the report they tested how long it would take their two new devices (a Mac and an Android phone) to be hacked when they accessed public Wifi while in Sochi. The first connection was made at a local coffee shop. Within minutes the phone was being probed by hackers. Intrusion attempts followed and eventually the device was compromised. Once compromised hackers were able to take any data they wanted off of the phone as well as setting up a tap to listen to conversations, follow the internet traffic of the phone, and read emails. When the laptop was hooked up to the hotel's Wifi they had a similar outcome in a similar amount of time.

The U.S. State Department has also rung in on the issue saying Americans visiting Sochi should have "no expectation of privacy." Sochi is expected to receive tens of thousands of visitors with the Olympics. The influx of high traffic and weak law enforcement, in regards to hacking, has privacy advocates on edge.

Anyone hoping to maintain their privacy is urged to use a VPN service like GoTrusted as well as making sure their devices are encrypted and password protected. Storing sensitive information in a non-internet connected device (like an external hard drive or USB stick) is also a good idea.