Millions of people use mobile internet services across the country, yet the free internet hotspots should be viewed with caution, said Thorsten Urbanski of the Bochum software company G Data in an interview.
“Despite a possibly well-known name, the user does not know who is behind the hotspot,” he said.
The greatest danger of encountering a manipulated hotspot is to be found at places where many people are using internet services – such as the CeBIT computer trade fair, which will be opened in Hannover on Monday.
“As a consumer you have no chance of telling who is behind a free hotspot,” he warned.
He said criminals would only need a notebook with a UMTS card in order to create a hotspot under the name of a large provider, which would give the false impression of security.
Public wireless internet hotspots should never be used for sensitive business such as online banking, he said.
“These man-in-the-middle attacks allow the perpetrators to get into the entire data stream without any difficulties. We can only strongly warn against using free hotspots,” said Urbanski.