AT&T hotspots caught to be injecting ads2015-08-26 02:08 by Daniela
Tags: AT&T, hotspot
Recently, AT&T has been caught in grabbing user traffic from its Wi-Fi hotspots for ad injection. The computer scientist Jonathan Mayer from Stanford who has recently been Web browsing at a U.S. airport has noticed that there were too many online advertisements.
He is reporting that the website for Stanford, for example, showed a pop-up ad for jewelry. The Federal Communications Commission website appeared to be advertising ladies' shoes.Before boarding, Mayer analyzed the Web traffic to figure out exactly what was happening.
He found that the hotspot, is using technology from a startup called RaGaPa to inject ads into the HTTP sent to the user's browser. However, the terms of service for AT&T's hotspot do not mention RaGaPa or that ads are injected. It is not clear for how long this hotspot has been injecting ads but according to Mayer, the practice poses privacy and performance risks.
"It tarnishes carefully crafted online brands and content, especially because the ads are not clearly marked as part of the hotspot service.3 And it introduces security and breakage risks, since website developers generally don’t plan for extra scripts and layout elements."
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