AnchorFree Documents the Danger to Cellular Service Providers of Offloading Subscribers to Wi-Fi

Ninety-two percent of Mobile World Congress participants are not protecting themselves while using public Wi-Fi; new product safeguards users

Mobile World Congress 2015

BARCELONA, Spain--()--AnchorFree, the global leader in consumer security, privacy and Internet freedom, today announced that it has completed a test of the security and privacy of a representative sample of the approximately 90,000 participants of the Mobile World Congress event, determining 92 percent of the participants (based on sample size n=465) did not use encryption or security when accessing public Wi-Fi. This astounding number confirms top mobile experts around the world still do not take necessary steps to protect their devices and are vulnerable to having their passwords and sensitive personal account information stolen.

By 2018, more than half of smartphone and tablet traffic will be offloaded from mobile networks to Wi-Fi. As a means to relieve the congested mobile data networks, offloading creates more vulnerable users on open Wi-Fi networks – evidenced by AnchorFree’s test.

“Security and privacy at public Wi-Fi sites is increasingly dubious as hackers are exploiting significant vulnerabilities,” said Craig Vachon, corporate development leader at AnchorFree. “It was hugely surprising to us that so many mobile experts – more than 90 percent – visiting the MWC conference have not bothered to protect themselves from Wi-Fi hacking and sniffing. Our researchers were easily able to access many-thousands of app passwords, emails, pictures and other personal information from the top executives at the largest cellular companies in the world.”

AnchorFree’s researchers independently collected and validated the test results. First the company designed the methodology for creating such a test then leveraged popular and easily available Wi-Fi Sniffing Kit [called Wi-Fi Pineapple costing USD$100] and free software [called PineAP, TCPDUMP and Wireshark], which was simply downloaded from the Web. The AnchorFree tester then sat in three “high-traffic” spots at the global conference [outside the convention hall, at the airport and at the train station] for the duration of the six-hour test and tabulated the final results. No logs or permanent records of the Wi-Fi sniffing activities were created and any and all data was immediately and permanently destroyed.

To combat the vulnerabilities exposed with offloading, AnchorFree today also announced its newest privacy product, Wi-Fi Security. Wi-Fi Security is a subscription-only product (using carrier billing) – for carriers to market to their subscribers – which provides a secure connection between smartphones or tablet devices and the Internet; encrypting data, protecting the user’s IP address, and thwarting malware. At launch, AnchorFree has carriers in Brazil, Japan and the U.S. that will rollout Wi-Fi Security in Q2 and Q3. By the end of 2015, between eight and 10 carriers and ISPs will launch.

“Our carrier-specific products are must-have apps for anyone using Wi-Fi to access the Internet, whether that is in the local coffee shop, an airport lobby or hotel when they travel. Some mobile carriers have told us that as many as 40 percent of their subscribers have been victims of identity theft due to Wi-Fi hacking,” said Vachon. “Wi-Fi Security continues AnchorFree’s mission to provide secure Internet access and online privacy to the world’s information for the next billion Internet users.”

AnchorFree also makes its consumer product, Hotspot Shield, a global VPN that secures mobile and public Wi-Fi networks to ensure safe, private Web browsing. Since launch in 2011, Hotspot Shield has seen exponential mobile growth, with a 300 percent increase over the past year, bringing the overall total (mobile and computers) to more than 300 million installs.

About AnchorFree

AnchorFree’s mission is to provide secure access to the world’s information for every person on the planet. AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield application is the world’s largest Internet freedom and personal privacy platform and the biggest disrupter of Internet censorship. Downloaded by more than 300 million users across mobile devices and computers; Hotspot Shield is the starting point, for mobile and Web access, making all applications and websites secure, private and accessible.

AnchorFree Wi-Fi Security product is being adopted by the largest carriers globally. To learn more about how it works, visit

Funded by $63 million from Goldman Sachs, and other blue chip investors, AnchorFree is focused on bringing online privacy and freedom to the next billion Internet users. AnchorFree is growing by 6 million new downloads of Hotspot Shield per month.

* [To visualize this Wi-Fi Sniffing process, please view this video on YouTube: ]

**Information in [brackets] used in this press release may be deemed inappropriate for public dissemination due to the information’s ability to be abused.


Levent Sapci, 408-744-1002


Levent Sapci, 408-744-1002