Assessing the Security Health of Public WiFi Environments Using Mobile Devices

  • Aysha A. Al Kharoossi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In recent years, a remarkable increase has been observed in cyber attacks targeting smartphone and WiFi networks. These attacks occur due to the wide use of smartphones and the vast amount of data transferred over Wi-Fi enabled technology. The main problem is that users tend to trust free public wireless networks for sending emails, logging in to a variety of accounts and even for performing online banking, without being aware of whether the wireless network is safe or being used as a platform by attacker to launch attacks to compromise mobile devices of legitimate users. In legacy system networks, the presence of malicious activities is identified by implementing Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs). However, it is not easy to apply such a technique within mobile environments. Therefore, low interaction honeypots work as a cost-effective and fast alternative to monitor WiFi networks with the use of just smartphones. Such smartphones when equipped with honeypots are considered as an advanced security monitoring and detection tool that provides the users with an early assessment for the network security health. There are many free public WiFi networks available for users in malls, airports and cafes where users can directly connect and perform different online activities without knowing how secure the wireless environment is. Many questions arise. Are there any attacks performed over these network and what are the types of these attacks? Can the security be assured in the wireless environment? All of these questions should be a concern by every WiFi user before connecting to a public WiFi network. All of the mentioned concerns and questions are studied in this research work. HosTaGe honeypot-To-Go is selected in this research work to be deployed in Android smartphone, and its efficacy in assessing the security of WiFi networks is studied. Indexing Terms: Honeypot, WiFi Security, HosTaGe, smartphones, malware, public WiFi networks>
Date of AwardJun 2016
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorKhaled Salah (Supervisor)


  • Honeypot
  • WiFi Security
  • HosTaGe
  • smartphones
  • malware
  • public WiFi networks.

Cite this