A public awareness campaign by VPN provider ‘Hide My Ass’ – provided seven year old British girl Betsy Davies with a laptop, a tutorial, and a subject willing to be hacked in an environment imitating that found in many of the United Kingdom’s 270,000 public Wi-Fi spots. Betsy completed the hack in just over 10 minutes.
Davies was able to complete the attack and steal virtual data in just 10 minutes and 54 seconds, by setting up a Rogue Access Point for a ‘Man in the Middle’ attack. “Adults need to get their heads around online security basics – and stick to them whenever they connect to an unsecure network.”
“As for children, while it’s admirable educators are focusing on skills like coding, it’s important to teach them about the dangers that lurk online, as well instilling a clear sense of the ethics – just as we did with the child that participated in this experiment. After all, as easily as one can now code a computer game, so one can fall into the dark world of hacking.”
Hide My Ass followed this up with an additional survey that revealed 59 percent of people regularly use unsecure, open Wi-Fi hotspots, with one in five doing so once a week or more often. Worse, 31 percent of those use such networks to send emails and personal documents, while 19 percent admitted using them to log-in to their online banking.
So if this is what a kid can do can you imagine the damage a hacker or group of hackers can do?