Why do I need a VPN? 3): “PROTECTION FOR WIFI CONNECTIONS (hotels, airports …)”

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In this post we'll start to see VPN Service applications that are not so well known but no less useful.

From our point of view, one of the most important applications delivered by our VPN service is the protection of communications over wireless networks (WiFi, WLANs, …).

With the proliferation of supply of wireless networks in hotels, airports, bars and countless other public places, and their increasing use by users of mobile devices (laptops, netbooks, PDAs, mobile phones …), the risks associated with use of such networks MUST to be considered.

Let us graphically show the risks associated with using public wireless networks:



Here we see two possible scenarios where our personal communications would be compromised. Let's look at each:


In this scenario, 'Bad Boy', uses a device (can be a simple notebook with the right software or equipment much more sophisticated) to capture our traffic while he is under the wireless antenna (wifi access point).

The degree to which our communication may be compromised in this scenario depends on the configuration of the wireless access point and the wireless protocol supported etc. You can imagine that wireless network security is not the main concern of the owner of a bar, hotel, restaurant etc.

In general we can say that it would not be very difficult for 'Bad Boy' to get passwords for access to our mail services, examine our chats, get passwords for online services


In this case, what has been created is a Fake Wireless Access Point. This attack is much more sophisticated and with much greater potential for harm.

For example; We're in a bar, we check if there is any wifi network and discover that we can connect to the WiFi network called 'TOM_BAR'. We assume that it´s the bar´s network. We access the wireless network and connect to our company´s webmail, our gmail, and to our bank.

With a set up like this, it is relatively easy to capture ALL our communications, even those protected by SSL (ie our bank) through a  man-in-the-middle attack (refer this link for more information on this; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-in-the-middle_attack).

You can easily understand how dangerous a scenario like this is to our privacy, and it is not difficult to implement.



Back to our graphical environment to see how a VPN service such as TUVPN.COM protects us against these scenarios:



As we can see, using a VPN service as we described in the post entitled PRIVACY, ANY traffic between our laptop and the VPN server (in this case Zurich) is encrypted.

This means that although 'Bad Boy' captures all the data he wants, he will not be able to ascertain its contents, because of the encryption offered by the VPN service.

Similarly, in the Fake Wireless Access Point scenario, the 'man-in-the-middle' cannot see anything more than an unintelligible string of zeros and ones because of the existing protections against such attackes within the VPN protocol.

We see that in this way we ensure privacy of your communications from ANY access place from which we connect to the Internet. You don't have to worry about your security, because YOU are providing your own security via use of a VPN service.



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