Times Square Tops the List of Tourist Attractions with Most Malicious WiFi Networks; Android Phones More than 2x More Likely to Encounter Threats Than iPhones
Palo Alto, Calif.—August 18, 2015 – Skycure, the leader in mobile threat defense, today announced that Times Square in New York City presents the most threat to tourists using a mobile device based on a Skycure analysis of mobile attacks occurring in the world’s top tourist attractions over the past year.
In a separate analysis that reviewed worldwide Skycure Threat Intelligence data, researchers found that on average, mobile devices are more than 25 percent likely to expose personal and corporate data to a network attack on a monthly basis. The research also found that Android devices encounter network related threats with almost twice the likelihood than iOS devices. Even though iOS devices connect on average to more WiFi networks, android devices connect to more threatening networks.
Skycure studied the world’s most popular tourist attractions, identifying actual network threats occurring from mobile devices over the past year. Destinations in large cities such as New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Las Vegas topped the list. Three separate Disney Parks were in the top 15 riskiest tourist destinations, including Disneyland Paris, Disneyland in Anaheim, and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is the world’s safest top tourist attraction for mobile users, partly due to the limited connectivity around the famous structure and mostly due to the ban on using mobile phones within the monument. These mobile phone limitations create a low value for attackers to create malicious hotspots near the attraction. Within the United States, the safest top tourist destination was Great Smoky Mountains national park in Tennessee, a wilderness abundant in beauty but not mobile connectivity.
“Unfortunately for mobile tourists, the most magical places on earth can sometimes be the most dangerous,” said Adi Sharabani, CEO of Skycure. “When you’re in a high-traffic area like these famous destinations, you’re a target for hackers. Unlike your computer, your phone is always on, even when you’re taking in the sights. Mobile tourists are a lucrative target for cyber criminals.”
The threats were identified with Skycure’s patent pending Active Honeypot technology and crowd wisdom which creates the world’s most complete picture of the Internet from a mobile perspective. Skycure conducts millions of security tests on a monthly basis and monitors tens of thousands of mobile devices. Travelers can check for top mobile threats in any destination by visiting https://maps.skycure.com.
The top 15 tourist attractions with the highest risk are:
- Times Square, New York City, NY
- Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
- Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee, France
- Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
- Ocean Park, Hong Kong
- Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, NV
- Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood, CA
- Union Station, Washington DC
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA
- Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA
- Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
- St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
- Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
- Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FL
- Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
Mobile Devices Under Constant Threat
In a separate worldwide analysis, Skycure reviewed all worldwide Skycure Threat Intelligence data to come up with valuable insights:
- The average monthly rate threat encounters for all mobile devices was more than 25 percent. This likelihood increases to 40 percent over a period of four months.
- On a monthly basis, Android phones are twice as likely to encounter a threat than iPhones. On average, 41 percent of Android devices will encounter network threats in a month, while 19 percent of iOS devices will encounter a threat in the same one month period.
- Android devices connect to more threatening networks even though they connect to less networks overall than iPhones. Android devices connect to fewer unique WiFi access points than iOS devices. On average, mobile devices connect to 14 different WiFi access points on a monthly basis. iOS devices connect an average of 17 unique WiFi access points while Android devices connect to about 10 WiFi access points monthly according to the data.
Most Frequent Threats Compromise SSL
Skycure studied network-related threats for this report, revealing high-risk WiFi networks that mobile users should avoid or be cautious connecting to. The most frequent threat identified was SSL decryption attacks, which allow cyber criminals to capture personal and work information (such as mobile banking logins/passwords and corporate credentials) even in a session the user believes is secure. The research also revealed cases of SSL stripping, which downgrades secure URLs (https) to non-secure URLs (http). Like SSL decryption attacks, this allows hackers to gain access to private information and communication while the user believes they are secure.
Safety Tips for Travelers
Skycure offered the following quick tips for mobile users traveling to high-risk destinations:
- Avoid “Free WiFi” networks (8 percent of the total reported threats originated from a WiFi with “Free” in its name).
- Read the warnings on your device and don’t click “Continue” if you don’t understand the exposure.
- Update your device to the most current operating system.
- Disconnect from the network if your phone behaves strangely (e.g. frequent crashes) or you receive a warning notification.
- Protect your device with a mobile security app like Skycure.
Download the free mobile threat defense app from Skycure, which detects and alerts you to malicious network attacks, suspicious networks, and malware. To download Skycure, go to: https://apps.skycure.com on your iOS or Android device, or go to the App Store or Google Play store and search for “Skycure”.
For details and to learn more about how Skycure Mobile Threat Defense protects organizations and prevents cyber attacks without compromising the mobile user experience or privacy, visit www.skycure.com.
For the top tourist destinations report, Skycure researched mobile threats and high-risk networks for the top tourist attractions based on Travel & Leisure’s Most-Visited Tourist Attractions list. Skycure identified actual mobile threats from June 2014 to June 2015 within 25 square miles of the attraction, because travelers often stay within 30 minutes of their travel destination. If more than one attraction was within the same 25 square mile area, the most popular destination is listed.
For the worldwide mobile threats report, Skycure reviewed Skycure Threat Intelligence data for all threats worldwide for the same period (June 2014 to June 2015).
Skycure is a mobile threat defense company that detects and prevents cyber attacks without compromising the mobile user experience or privacy. Skycure’s predictive technology leverages massive crowd knowledge to proactively identify threats and secure mobile devices. Skycure’s founders, Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, have identified some of the most-discussed mobile device vulnerabilities of the past few years. The company has offices in Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and Ottawa, and is backed by Pitango Venture Capital, Shasta Ventures, New York Life, Mike Weider, Peter McKay, and other strategic investors.