Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

Hacking Wireless for Identity Theft

0
Pin It

The ability to connect wirelessly has a lot to do with the indispensability of the Internet in our daily lives. Wireless Internet is available in our homes, offices, cafes, restaurants, parks, hotels, airports, cars, and even airplanes. The mobility factor allows us to work anytime, anywhere, on numerous devices. “Being connected” is at an all-time high.

Wireless Internet is amazing. But is it safe?

The short answer is: no. Wi-Fi was born to be convenient, not secure. Unsecured, unprotected wireless is everywhere. When a device connects to unprotected Wi-Fi, all the data stored on that device is available to a hacker with the proper sniffing tools.

The longer answer is: it depends on what kind of wireless we’re talking about. I’m going to speak in generalizations, since most of this is debatable and at this point, there are no absolutes when it comes to wireless security. So here we go.

Free, unsecured Wi-Fi is the least secure. Any Wi-Fi connection, whether in public, at home, or in the office, that is shared with anyone with any wireless device, lacks encryption of the data packets streaming from the connected devices.

A simple Firefox add-on called Firesheep can allow anyone with a Firefox browser to sniff out other devices using the same Internet connection, and to spy on their browser activity. Even if the victim’s login is encrypted, once they visit an unencrypted site, their data becomes vulnerable.

Home or office Wi-Fi with a WEP encryption is slightly more secure. Wired Equivalent Privacy was introduced in 1997 and is the original version of wireless network security. But WEP has been cracked, hacked, and decimated.

Home or office Wi-Fi with a WPA encryption is better. Wi-Fi Protected Access is a certification program that was created in response to several serious weaknesses researchers found in WEP, the previous system. WPA and WPA2 are tougher to crack, but not impossible.

Mobile Broadband has a degree of encryption that has been cracked, but the necessary hardware isn’t widely deployed by criminals. Researchers have demonstrated how the system can be hacked, but it’s still more secure than other options.

For the most security, use WPA2 wireless Internet from a home or office environment that isn’t internally shared. If you must go online while traveling, use your carrier’s mobile broadband and forgo the hotel or café’s free wireless.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, regardless of how they connect to the Internet.

To ensure peace of mind, subscribe to an identity theft protection service, such as McAfee Identity Protection, which offers proactive identity surveillance, lost wallet

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • What Kind of Wireless is Secure…and What Isn’t?
    Wi-Fi was born to be convenient—but not secure. More than anything, though, it depends more on what kind of wireless we’re talking about. Public. Free, unsecured Wi-Fi is the least secure. Shared Wi-Fi in public, at home or in the office lacks encryption of the data packets streaming from the connected devices. In other words, your data
  • 6 Ways You Are Vulnerable On Wi-Fi
    Whether you are on your home or office network or seeking out a free connection on public Wi-Fi, there are known risks that can be managed simply by using a free VPN. #1. Outdated operating system-critical security patches. When an operating system is released, it often is secure—or at least as it can be for the moment.
  • How Secure is My Mobile Carrier’s Network?
    The National Security Agency (NSA) prescribes security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling and distribution of signals intelligence (internet, phone, etc.) and communications security material under control of the NSA’s director. The NSA acts as the national manager for national security and answers to the secretary of defense and the director of national
  • What’s a Wireless “Sniffer” and Why Should I Care?
    A sniffer is a software program used by IT administrators to monitor network usage, investigate network problems, investigate network misuse and abuse, identify configuration issues and determine the state of a network’s security. Sniffers ultimately decode the data so it is readable in words, numbers and computer code. Note that last part: “determine the state of a network’s
  • Wireless Security:Wi-Fi Hacking Burglars Busted
    In Seattle 3 men have been arrested for hacking the wireless networks of over a dozen businesses along with 41 burglaries. They are alleged to have stolen at least $750,000 in funds, computer equipment and other items. SeattlePIreported their Wi-Fi hacking techniques included “wardriving,” in which hackers mount a high-strength Wi-Fi receiver inside a car and search

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category