Everyone likes taking advantage of free wi-fi.
But while doing so, someone may be taking advantage of you.
Google's Android OS for smartphones has been found by researchers to be considerably more vulnerable to hacking than other device's software.
Quoth The Globe and Mail:
A trio of researchers at Ulm University in Germany found that it was “quite easy” for hackers to intercept data from Google’s photo-sharing, calendar and contacts applications, as well as potentially other Google services such as Gmail, using a flaw that affects 99 per cent of all Android devices.
This follows a fiasco in March where Google had to remove over 50 apps that were able to steal data.
“The implications of this vulnerability reach from disclosure to loss of personal information for the Calendar data,” say the Ulm researchers on their website. “Beyond the mere stealing of such information, an adversary could perform subtle changes without the user noticing. For example, an adversary could change the stored e-mail address of the victim’s boss or business partners hoping to receive sensitive or confidential material pertaining to their business.”
Google says it is aware of the issue and has fixed it for the latest version of Android—however, this represents less than 1 percent of Google smartphones.
How to stay safe? Unfortunately, the only way is to avoid all open wi-fi networks until your device is running the newest Android OS. (Version 2.3.4)