Updated: 11/17/2013 11:26 PM KSTP.com By: Nick Winkler
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS partnered with Computer Forensic Services to put Wi-Fi and major websites to the test.
Our analysis reveals anyone using Wi-Fi to bank, shop, or send sensitive data is at risk. More specifically, a device that can be used by hackers has the ability to intercept usernames, passwords, text messages and emails.
In just a few seconds our simulated hack resulted in login access information to popular email service providers, e-commerce merchants, and major financial institutions.
Several of the organizations that failed our test, meaning their websites are vulnerable, appear to believe the device used in the simulated attack is a traditional man in the middle attack.
They argue the problem is not with their websites but rather unsecure Wi-Fi connections, the hackers who intercept sensitive data, and people who use these networks.
However, our analysis shows the websites that failed our test are also vulnerable in terms of how they communicate with unencrypted data being transmitted.
The device hackers can use decrypts information in real time.
The websites that passed our test identify unencrypted data, are suspicious of it, and take steps to prevent the data from being intercepted.
You can protect yourself by purchasing a data plan.
It's obviously more expensive that free Wi-Fi but it provides a more secure way to send and receive sensitive information.
Click here to watch an extended interview on this topic.