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Czech cyber giant hacks GOP Convention

Governor Mike Pence accepts the nomination for Vice President of the United States at the GOP Convention on Wednesday. Source: Conventionmedia.gop

PRAGUE – U.S. Republican Party supporters are an interesting breed, but they’re not into porn and at least five percent played Pokemon Go throughout the raucous GOP Convention in Cleveland last week, according to Czech cybersecurity giant Avast. Hey, they would know, they hacked the convention.

Setting up a network of fake WiFi hotspots, Avast lured convention attendees in the troves to logon, connect and share a caseload of their personal data, the company told USA Today yesterday.

The fake WiFi networks had seductive names such as ‘Google Starbucks’ and ‘I Vote Trump.’ Interestingly, one-third of the attendees that fell into Avast’s trap at the Republican Party convention actually joined a network called ‘I Vote Hillary.’ We’ll just leave that there a moment.

More than two thirds of those who logged onto the spoof hotspots exposed their true identities, email addresses, personal data, app and website preferences, Avast told USA Today.

Avast research engineers found that more than half of the convention attendees logging on to the hacked WiFi used Apple phones, and less than 10% had a Twitter app, with less than 8% having the social media coolzone app, Instagram.

Six percent shopped on Amazon throughout the convention and at least five percent caught a few Pokemons.

Only 0.7 percent used dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, OKCupid, Match and Meetup and a mere 0.24 percent visited pornography sites like Pornhub.com. We’re not sure which speaker got those attendees in the mood. Perhaps the Orange Man himself?

This isn’t the first time Czech group Avast has pulled a security prank like this.

“With Washington heatedly discussing cybersecurity issues virtually every week, we thought it would be interesting to test how many people actually practice secure habits,” said Gagan Singh, president of mobile at Avast.

“Understanding the talking points behind these privacy issues is very different from implementing secure habits on a daily basis. Though it is not surprising to see how many people connect to free Wi-Fi, especially in a location with large crowds such as this, it is important to know how to stay safe when connecting. When joining public Wi-Fi, consumers should utilize a VPN service that anonymizes their data while connecting to public hotspots to ensure that their connection is secure.”

Avast are the largest tech employer in the Czech Republic.


Bohemist is an upstart news outlet serving the Czech Republic. Feel free to write us at editor@bohemist.cz.

About Bohemist

Bohemist is an upstart news outlet serving the Czech Republic. Feel free to write us at editor@bohemist.cz.

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