Zombie Wifi

I go to my favorite coffee shop. While I'm waiting for them to make my coffee I'll try and check-in on Foursquare or reply to a message on Twitter or Facebook. A message pops up. You are not connected to the internet. What? Or worse an calendar/email HTTP security error just pops up for no reason, and then pops up again.

Why? It turns out my phone has connected to the free wifi provider, like the Cloud or Boingo but I haven’t gone through the tiresome rigmarole of logging in via a browser. My phone thinks I’m connected so routes all internet traffic through the wifi connection which is blocking the data because I’m not logged in. The problem is worse for secure sites. My phone quite rightly gives a security error as the wifi hotspot is trying to autoforward all requests to their SSL login page. It thinks the wifi hotspot it trying to spoof me.

I can hit ‘forget’ in the wifi settings, but I connect to these free hotspots and they all have the same ID. I never remember to hot forget when I leave the coffee shop.

Attack of the Zombie wifi

It’s happening more and more. The Cloud in the UK is everywhere. I was waiting at the traffic lights recently on my bike, tried to use Siri to call someone, Siri said she couldn’t connect to the internet, aghhh wifi was on and had connected to a Cloud hotspot; Zombie attack! I had to take my phone out, turn off the wifi and try and call. Aghhh frustrating.

The Zombie slayer is coming

Things are changing, Passpoint should help slay the wifi zombie army. It’ll recognise your device rather than needing a username and password.

Right now it’s still annoying.

Leave a Reply