Industry News

London Olympics Forbidden Items: Weaponry and Wi-Fi

The London Olympic Committee has published a list of prohibited items that might deny you entry to the London 2012 venues. While most items are the usual suspects at sports events, such as weapons, alcohol, fireworks or illegal substances, some electronic devices, such as walkie-talkies, radio scanners and access points have been banned.

The main reason for the ban on walkie-talkies, scanners and jammers is that these devices may be used by terrorists to sabotage communication between law enforcement officers on the premises. But what about the Wi-Fi access points and 3G hotspots?

Since 3G-enabled smartphones are allowed, the ban has nothing to do with real-time broadcasting of the event. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that the London Olympics organizing committee has entered a partnership with sponsor BT, which deployed over 1,500 hotspots at Olympic sites, where access to the web costs about 10 bucks per 90 minutes.

The reason behind the hotspot ban might be related to personal security: many times, unwary web surfers blindly connect to insecure networks rather than use a safe, paid-for hotspot. This would allow any cyber-criminal to transform their smartphone into a hotspot, allow others to access the web through their device and basically collect all the data that passes through the hotspot, including login data, transaction details and whatnot.

If you’re going to the Olympic sites, we recommend you avoid connecting to any open wireless network. You are advised to either pay for Wi-Fi access via the access points made available by organizers, or purchase a pre-paid local number and activate 3G data on the device.

Via Softpedia

About the author

Bogdan BOTEZATU

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.

4 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • “The reason behind the hotspot ban might be related to personal security:”
    true,always is about our safety, never about profit

    i think people interested in safe surfing will use anyway VPN over hotspots

    p.s. “excessive amounts of food” is also forbidden

    • I don’t see how they would profit since they let you use your own 3G plan. For that money you can easily buy a pre-paid mobile phone SIM and use its data plan. You can get 2 GB of mobile traffic for about 8 pounds, which is way better a deal than the BT pricing. So, in recap, 3G is fine, but creation of hotspots is not. And I doubt that the regular user would know what VPN is. My question is: how will they be able to enforce this? Are they going to checkyour phone from 5 to 5 minutes to see if you shared your connection?

      • to use that SIM card you need a free (pre paid) phone, how many people have free network phone(not blocked in network you buy it) ?

        i don’t know about 3g network infrastructure, but perhaps is possible to kick out all 3g network that is not legal, or block signal to all phone that sharing connection