wi-fi antics

From a BBC News story.

There are growing concerns the technology is vulnerable to computer hackers because the wireless signals spill out into public areas where criminals can capture them.

But just a few miles down the road from the TW04 event, computer expert Jason Hart has demonstrated some of the risks facing computer users at the Newport Business Park.

Driving around in his car and using standard equipment, he is able to identify several firms which could become targets for “drive-by hackers”.

“There is one now I have just picked up on and that would be very vulnerable and open to attack,” he said.

At the very least, hackers who get in to the internet account would be able to surf for free.

But that is just the beginning of the problem for companies.

Mr Harts said: “Once we do that, we can start editing or changing any settings on that device within the network and we can get full control of the network.”

One company in the park gave him permission to attempt to hack into their system, which he was easily able to do.

I also demonstrated how easy this is whilst in New York, where I managed to surf the web for free using the corporate network of a company in the building across the street.

They had no passwords or anything, I can only imagine that everyone in the hotel could do the same, which, if many people found out, could cause a real problem for that company in terms of connection speed, bandwith costs and more if somebody tried to do something more sinister.

The only thing I did to demonstrate to the company that they were open, was print a page using one of their HP LaserJets in huge letters saying “Your Wi-Fi network is open!”
I did this on the day before I left, but still the next day it was open.
Hopefully they have done something about it now.

Connecting to a network by Wi-Fi is just like somebody walking up and plugging a cable into the back of your home computer, if not set-up correctly, anyone can access anything.

7 Comments

  1. hey, let’s not blow too many whistles here, I happen to love leeching open wifi. :P

    like my cousin’s next door neighbor 11MBPS!!

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