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In-flight wi-fi may be coming, but you can't be flippant about security

26 Jul 2016

In-flight wi-fi is coming to all Australian budget carriers by mid 2017, and ESET believes this is a good time to remember that in-flight wi-fi is subject to the same cybersecurity risks as any public wi-fi network.

“Whether in-flight Wi-Fi services are implemented as open hotspots or secured ones, they can be trivially spoofed by a potential attacker, at least for a few seats either side of and a few rows in front of and behind the attacker. Passengers should treat in-flight Wi-Fi as we suggest consumers treat all public Wi-Fi access points," says Nick FitzGerald, senior research fellow at ESET.

FitzGerald gives some useful advice on staying secure and protected when using in-flight wi-fi.

  • Only browse HTTPS websites, or use 'HTTPS everywhere' browser plugins
  • Make sure your email clients are configured to use secure protocol connections (eg. SSL, TLS for all POP3, IMAP and SMTP emails)
  • If you can, change your network connection to use only trusted DNS providers, not the default ones supplied by the hotspot
  • A VPN is a crucial way to access confidential and sensitive information, particularly for your business.
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