Networking & Wireless forum

General discussion

Is using second hand mifi safe

by Js344 / January 30, 2013 3:16 AM PST

Maybe a silly question, but is it safe to use a second hand mifi device with a new SIM. By that I mean is it possible for there to be some malicious software within the mifi device that could steal data or damage devices linked to it?

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Is using second hand mifi safe
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Is using second hand mifi safe
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 3:27 AM PST

For example just research the HAK5 PINEAPPLE. Lots of fun things you can do with that including watching what folk do, scrapping passwords and more.

But you suspected it, I can only confirm it.

As to device damage, since we can use social engineering to get folk to do the oddest things, then yes, the problem can extend to actual damage.

Collapse -
by Js344 / January 30, 2013 3:34 AM PST
In reply to: No.

Is there a way to ensure the device is clean?

Collapse -
What device? Laptop? MiFi thing, etc?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 3:37 AM PST
In reply to: Hmm

You lead with it being second hand. I can think this means it's not yours that is you are connecting to second hand or someone else's hotspot. Or you bought it used and are unsure.

If you own the device any firmware update should clean it up. My example is more about you using a connection you don't own or control.

Collapse -
by Js344 / January 30, 2013 3:44 AM PST

Hi, no I have just bought the device, plan to put a new sim into it, but it's second hand so not sure if the hardware is safe to use... Thanks

Collapse -
Should be fine but
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 3:52 AM PST
In reply to: Ah

But in one of the circles I run we have discussed that if we were bad folk we would give away such things for free with a modified firmware. Same for free PCs. That's why you have to have a good idea where it's from. A little history helps. barely pulls back the cover on these things.

Collapse -
by Js344 / January 30, 2013 3:45 AM PST

Yes it,s a mifi thing

Collapse -
by Js344 / January 30, 2013 3:55 AM PST

So I could clean it before I use it to make sure it's safe then?

Collapse -
Look a the details so far.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 4:01 AM PST
In reply to: Interesting

I feel a little like Tim the Enchanter but unsure if we are at the Cave of Caerbannog. For most of us there is no issue here. But you asked so it's asking if there is a cat in the box.

Before you asked the chances of a cat in the box is very low. But the very act of asking changes the likelihood there is a cat in the box.

As I noted, using someone else's hotspot is never a sure thing. Using a "found" thing is also dangerous. If this device was from your usual GF and she was not evil then you have a chain of ownership that tells us there is little to worry about.

Hope this is clear enough.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,224 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,453 discussions
Laptops 20,090 discussions
Security 30,722 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,937 discussions
Windows 10 1,295 discussions
Phones 16,252 discussions
Windows 7 7,684 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,215 discussions


Roku Streaming Stick 2016

Roku has the most apps, the simplest interface and the best search, making it CNET's favorite way to stream Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and all the rest.