Experts have often warned about the risks associated with performing sensitive online transactions via public Wi-Fi at coffee shops or other public places. Today, security firm ThreatMetrix has published an interesting infographic to detail possible attack scenarios.
In one scenario described by the company, the attackers use network scanners to detect the open ports on the targeted devices. A network scanner can be integrated with hacking tools to make sure system vulnerabilities are automatically exploited.
The Wi-Fi connections from public places can be easily intercepted via man-in-the-middle attacks, which allow crooks to hijack sessions and redirect victims to arbitrary websites.
Although it doesn't involve public Wi-Fi, social hacking is also possible at coffee shops. The attackers can leave a malware-containing USB drive out in the open and wait for a curious user to insert it into his/her computer.
The last attack scenario involves high-resolution video cameras and mobile phones. Such devices can be used by a fraudster to secretly record the customers of a café while they enter their passwords or PINs.