Public WiFi and Crypto: Security Guide

Elizabeth Wright
| Editor:
March 9, 2023
5 min read

Free Is Not Always Good

  • In metro and public transport.
  • On the street.
  • In state institutions.
  • In cafes and hotels and etc.

Very often, you don’t even need a password for free Wifi. One may think it is an excellent offer; however, cybercriminals take advantage of it.

The fact is that fraudsters got the hang of creating fake Wifi networks to steal usernames and passwords, as well as other personal data. In this regard, the easiest option is not to use public networks at all and switch to a mobile modem.

Public Wi-Fi: Main Features and How To Secure Your Funds

If before the Internet user had to fear fraudsters and viruses only, today, we need to hide from everyone. Everybody around wants to know as much as possible.

Let’s analyze the types of attacks which exists today and understand how to secure your funds.

Cryptocurrency Wallet – As a New Target

In 2017, Bleeping Computer discovered suspicious activity, revealing the threat of hacking of 2.3 million bitcoin wallets. The hackers used malware to replace the address of the wallet copied to the clipboard with the wallet address of one of the intruders.

Hackernoon experts also analyzed the data on hacker attacks, conditionally dividing them into three broad categories:

  • Attacks on blockchains, cryptocurrency exchanges, and ICO.
  • Distribution of hidden mining software.
  • Attacks aimed at users wallets.

Besides, cybercriminals are also actively using social engineering – in this case, more than $9 million were stolen in the Ethereum cryptocurrency.

Types of Attacks

Back in October 2017, a fatal vulnerability was discovered in the Wifi Protected Access protocol used by routers. After performing an elementary attack with reinstalling the key (KRACK), the user’s device is re-connected to the same network, but already under the control of hackers.

All information downloaded or sent via this network is available to attackers – including the private keys of crypto wallets.

  • The malware installed on your smartphone/laptop. Attackers infect public networks, and then offer victims to install, at first glance, the most common update from Adobe Flash, Google Toolbar or other popular software. In the process of downloading to the user’s device, a malware application is installed. This application will search for the private keys of your cryptocurrency wallet.
  • Hackers create a clone of a public network to steal data. The attackers create a new network, which is similar to the original.
  • A hacker can interfere with the current session of the public network. By simple frauds, almost any attacker can hook into your session via free Wifi by hacking the router and duplicating traffic through the new port.
  • Phishing attacks. Another type of Internet fraud, the purpose of which is to gain access to confidential user data. The essence is simple: the attacker creates a clone of a known user of the site.

Protection Recommendations

To keep your coins safe and sound, follow the easy steps and you will always control your money.

  • Avoid any financial activity when using public networks, including cryptocurrency transactions.
  • Use mobile internet in public places
  • Never use public Wi-Fi for cryptocurrency transactions.
  • Disable file sharing.
  • Update your operating system and antivirus.


Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to access new victims, so it is essential to be informed and remain vigilant. Here we discussed some of the risks that public WiFi can present.

Although most of these risks can be reduced by simply using a password-protected connection, it is vital to understand how these attacks work and how you can avoid becoming the next victim.

Atomic Wallet

However, Wifi is not the only thing you need to know about the security of THE coins. You should also pay special attention to choosing a wallet properly.

It is more secure when your private keys ARE stored on a local device in an encrypted manner. In this case, only you control them.

  • The user creates the private password required for carrying out transactions.
  • The backup phrase, which consists of randomly generated 12 words, provides an additional opportunity to restore access to the wallet in any case and at any time.

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