According to a new report from security firm Coronet, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the top 10 airports where your phone is most likely to be hacked.
The Airport Wifi Security report looked at data from more than 250,000 devices at the 45 busiest airports in the US. Researchers analyzed the vulnerabilities in the Airport Wi-Fi ssecurity networks as well as in a variety of devices. They then assigned each airport a threat score, with any score above 6.5 considered unacceptable.
The top 10 list includes:
- San Diego International Airport, San Diego, CA (Score: 10)
- John Wayne Airport-Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, CA (Score: 8.7)
- William P Hobby Airport, Houston, TX (Score: 7.5)
- Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers, FL (Score: 7.1)
- Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, NJ (Score: 7.1)
- Dallas Love Field, Dallas, TX (Score: 6.8)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, AZ (Score: 6.5)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, NC (Score: 6.4)
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Detroit, MI (Score: 6.4)
- General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, Boston, MA (Score: 6.4)
The safest airports, according to the report, include Raleigh Durham International, Chicago-Midway International, Nashville International Airport, and Washington Dulles International.
Hackers could use the network vulnerabilities to access cloud apps such as Gmail, Dropbox, or Microsoft Office 365, like they did for this travelling businessman. They could also deliver malware to the device that could end up in your network.
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On a recent trip to Europe, TNT president Jeff Gaura had two startling revelations about just how far behind the US is in terms of telecommunications and technology compared to the rest of the world.
Upon arrival in Copenhagen, Denmark, facial recognition software helped expedite customs and border patrol. The act of ID verification as they flew in and out of European Union countries made the US systems of baggage checking, security checkpoints, and passport control seem incredibly old school. This system increased efficiency to the point that most of the international travelers arrived less than an hour before their flight, compared to the 2 hours ahead travelers need to arrive in America.
The President has signed an order to implement the technology in the US, and our migration to using facial recognition is underway.
Check in at European hotels was equally as efficient as their airport check in. The check in experience was “humanity free,” in that Jeff and his son only had to interact with a touch screen to get room keys, Wi-Fi passcodes, and room number assignments. From when they entered the hotel to signing in and getting to secured elevators that required IDs to operate took literally about two minutes. That included the hotel verifying credit card on file and getting an additional swipe for room incidentals.
Differences in the quality of telecommunications stood out the most. 5G coverage was ubiquitous in Norway, whereas only 5 US cities claim to have 5G wireless broadband. Even in those cities, it is still in a testing stage and not available to the entire population. 3G and 4G are the US Standards, still. In addition, Wi-Fi is more common and faster in Europe than here. At one extreme, Jeff and his son had 54 Mbps at the Top of Galdopiggen, the highest mountain in Scandanavia, and it was free.
With all the brainpower, money and people that exist in the US, it is a crime that we are behind smaller, less economically endowed countries like Norway and Denmark.
Before I quote any 3rd party to convince you of my position, let’s start with some questions. Answer from your point of view, assuming you have a mobile phone and at least 1 computer.
Which one travels the most and is on the greatest number of networks?
Which one has security software installed on it that creates reports sent to you and/or an administrator?
Which one is left turned on the most?
Which one gets used for transactions, information sharing, and sits near you at meal time?
Which one has a camera that takes pictures and saves them to servers all over the world that you can’t even identify?
Am I done yet?
The amazing thing is that you aren’t done yet. Despite all these known vectors in which a mobile phone can be attacked and controlled, our mobile devices are perhaps the least likely item that we pay for security service for. They should be the one we pay the MOST for.
Now, some of the findings, care of our friends at Verizon, from the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report.
"As mobile devices often provide privileged access to the enterprise environment and hold two-factor authentication credentials, these classes of malware and device-based attacks can result in more damage than adware or click fraud. The potential for these infections does exist, and a common vector is the use of phishing/SMiShing and other social attacks that entice the mobile user to download applications outside of official platform marketplaces."
Yet, some of you will continue to say, “my phone is safe-it hasn’t failed me, yet.” If this is your position, then there is nothing to add to the conversation. Cyber Pearl Harbor is in your future.
You don’t need a Cyber Pearl Harbor to invest in protection your assets and your devices. Call us for help.