Windows 10: How safe is the Windows 10 Wi-Fi sharing feature?


  1. Posts : 15,252
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64
       05 Jul 2015 #1

    How safe is the Windows 10 Wi-Fi sharing feature?


    A feature that went almost unnoticed in Windows Phone 8.1 because of its modest installation base has been raising security questions now that it has been added to Windows 10.

    It's called Wi-Fi Sense, and it simplifies the process of connecting users to nearby Wi-Fi networks. It automatically connects users to crowdsourced open Wi-Fi networks and accepts a Wi-Fi network's terms of use on their behalf.

    But what worries security experts is the fact that it allows users to share access to their password-protected Wi-Fi networks with their Outlook.com contacts, Skype contacts, and Facebook friends.
    Source

    A Guy
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    06 Jul 2015 #2

    I have WiFi sense turned on on my phone, but never seen the point of it

    my home network tells me its secure and not sharable
    the same with public wifi hotspots I have set up, they are not shareable
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 1,546
    W7 32 bit, Linux Mint Xfce 18 64 bit
       06 Jul 2015 #3

    Hmm, I am not sure I totally understand the connecting it does.

    Is the article saying, it is going to connect to any open wifi network without your knowledge?

    One the local news a person got in trouble for using a restaurants wifi by sitting in the parking lot and not ordering anything to eat. He was charged with unauthorized access or something to that effect.

    Is there a way to disable Microsoft Sense, without having to disable wifi device?
    Last edited by groze; 06 Jul 2015 at 11:35.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 3,235
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       06 Jul 2015 #4

    One the local news a person got in trouble for using a restaurants wifi by sitting in parking and not ordering anything to eat. He was charged with unauthorized access or something to that effect.
    The ISPs in my area can charge such an action as theft of services and both the legitimate subscriber and the "hijacker" could be charged. A motel in my town had to secure their wireless router with a password when they found people were setting on the off-ramp beside their building/parking area and using Internet services.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 1,546
    W7 32 bit, Linux Mint Xfce 18 64 bit
       06 Jul 2015 #5

    Berton said: View Post
    The ISPs in my area can charge such an action as theft of services and both the legitimate subscriber and the "hijacker" could be charged. A motel in my town had to secure their wireless router with a password when they found people were setting on the off-ramp beside their building/parking area and using Internet services.
    The legitimate subscriber could be charge how would that be possible or even legal? Unlike here in the forums there are some people that don't know much about computers. I could see issues with Microsoft Sense causing problem by connecting to any wifi network. I figured how to disable it. As added protection since I don't use wifi, I disabled the wifi driver in device manager.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    06 Jul 2015 #6

    I've had this on my phone and see no benefit to this feature as I have wifi or LTE available at all times. If my friends come over and they deserve to know my wifi password, they'll get it.

    It's probably just best to leave it off unless you need the features it provides, but it's of no concern or risk to me as an option for those that do.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    06 Jul 2015 #7

    The issue isn't with sharing your WiFi access with friends. The issue is that MS will store your access point's password on their server and gives the password to people on your contact lists in Outlook, Facebook, etc.. While this requires your friend to have the WiFi Sense and location services on the Windows Phone, I am not certain for the requirement for Windows 10 OS. At the very least, they'd need the location service enabled on their laptop/tablet to get the password from MS to connect to your WiFi router.

    Why this is actually an issue? Because of this:

    The main problem as I see it is that feature is turned on by default, and users are required to opt out if they don't want to use it. Also, in order to keep their Wi-Fi network "safe" from Wi-Fi Sense, users must add _optout to the name of their network (e.g. mynetwork_optout) - and this is something not many users know how to do.
    The default settings as always...

    This quote from the article made me laugh:

    Computing's Graeme Burton is worried that this feature allows Microsoft to map users, their connections and also where they go - information that can later be sold to third parties.
    Really? After turning Windows 10 cloud based, deep integration with Bing/Cortana, soon to be followed by Office 2016, you are going to worry about what MS will learn from WiFi sharing? You've got to be kidding...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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