[ISN] The unvarnished truth about unsecured Wi-Fi

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 23:03:13 -0600 (CST)

By Elinor Mills
InSecurity Complex
CNet News
November 1, 2010

Chances are you don't leave your front door unlocked. And you shouldn't 
leave your Wi-Fi network unsecured either.

Many of you may have heard this before, but many still seem to not be 
doing anything about it. You should. Here's why. With a $50 wireless 
antenna and the right software a criminal hacker located outside your 
building as far as a mile away can capture passwords, e-mail messages, 
and any other data being transmitted over your network, and even decrypt 
data that is supposedly protected.

Someone could also join the network and launch attacks on your computer 
and any other devices using the network at that time. If file sharing 
has been left on or the personal firewall is misconfigured it's 
relatively easy to access the computer via an open Wi-Fi network. 
Someone could upload an executable program to a file on your hard drive 
that steals data or just leaves a back door for future access. And if 
you are using the network to connect to a corporate network through a 
VPN (virtual private network) an attacker can get into the corporate 
system too.

"The most dangerous thing is a direct attack," Don Bailey, a security 
consultant at iSec Partners who is also an expert on telecommunications 
snooping, told CNET. "The threat is not only that your traffic can be 
sniffed, but that an attacker can get access to all your data and 
connections on your computer, even those supposedly secured by SSL 
(Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption."


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Received on Mon Nov 01 2010 - 22:03:13 PDT

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