This article is more than 1 year old

Sniffing and sharing Wi-Fi passwords? There's an app for that!

And its Chinese developers just scored US$52m of VC to sniff more passwords

China's internet services aren't stellar, which is why the nation's State Council recently decided to spend US$182bn on network construction in an effort to speed up local connections.

While Chinese citizens wait for all that to happen, plenty are instead turning to an app called Wi-Fi Skeleton Key that collects credentials for open Wi-Fi hotspots and shares them among users. The upshot is that users of the app can log into millions of hotspots around China, gratis.

Which is a nice hack, especially given Chinese hotspots often ask for personal information before they allow connection.

So nice a hack, in fact, that local outlet QQ reports that Wi-Fi Skeleton Key has just scored a $52 million VC injection that values the company at a billion bucks.

No wonder China's masters want to throw so much dosh at better internet: if this kind of app is what it takes to get decent connections in China, more infrastructure is clearly needed.

But let's get back to that colossal valuation, which is probably on offer because the app is reported to have over 270 million users, all of whom get to see ads whenever they fire it up. The company is presumably also sitting on 270 million users worth of data, which various folks - not least the very ISPs it is inconveniencing - will doubtless find useful. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like