WeWork's weak Wi-Fi security has been leaving sensitive data accessible on its open network for years. That may have compromised both organizations that work in WeWork spaces as well as those that have never entered WeWork but do business with companies that use its offices.
A Fast Company report back in August highlighted poor security practices by the real estate firm, which rents out coworking spaces to mostly small businesses. A new report from CNET takes a deeper dive into the extent of WeWork's oversight and implications for its customers.
The findings come from Teemu Airamo, who according to CNET evaluated WeWork's Wi-Fi security in 2015 before moving his digital media company into one of its Manhattan offices. He was able to view hundreds of other companies' financial records and devices on the building's network; upon alerting the community manager, he found out WeWork already knew this was possible. Attempts to bring the Wi-Fi security issue through the ranks to WeWork's upper management proved fruitless.
WeWork Wi-Fi is protected by a password, which CNET says appears in plaintext on the WeWork app. Multiple WeWorks in New York, and some in California, share the same password.
Over the past four years, Airamo has continued to run regular Wi-Fi scans on the WeWork network. His scans show 658 devices exposing an "astronomical amount" of data: financial records, business transactions, client databases, emails from other companies, driver's license and passport scans, job applications, contracts, lawsuits, banking credentials, and health data.
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