We missed this post over the holidays, but Bettnet warns us about hooking up to just any old random WiFi port in the airport. The hackers out there:
I was recently at New York’s JFK airport in the JetBlue terminal, where they have prominent signs offering free wi-fi, courtesy of the airline. But when I went to connect, I noticed that several options were available including one labeled “default” and another labeled “JetBlue free hotspot.” It turns out that the former was the actual free hotspot and the latter was the honeypot. (Of course, JetBlue could have averted some of this by actually renaming their router something useful like, say, “JetBlue free hotspot” instead of leaving the unhelpful “default” moniker it came out of the box with.)
What tipped me off was that the “JetBlue free hotspot” was labeled in my Mac OS X “Airport” (i.e. wi-fi) menu as a “Computer-to-Computer network.” On Windows I think this might be called an “Ad-hoc network”. Without getting into too many technical details, this means that someone has made their own computer appear to be a wi-fi router. If you connect to this network on an imperfectly protected Windows laptop, this hacker will have access to your data from his own computer. Even if you’re on a properly configured laptop, Windows or Mac, they’ll still be able to harvest any passwords or other data you attempt to send while trying to connect to web sites.
Lifehacker suggests using your cell phone as a modem as an alternative.