Home News London wireless insecurity unveiled

London wireless insecurity unveiled

by Brian Sims

Security expert James Lyne set off with his computer-equipped bicycle onto the streets of London recently to test how safe homes, businesses, and even people on mobiles phones are from cyber criminals. The empirical research showed that the state of wireless security in the UK’s capital leaves a lot to be desired. James, Global Head of Security Research at Sophos, went ‘warbiking’ across the city to track down unsecure wireless networks and spotlight user behaviours that could be exploited by rogue hackers, and he discovered some alarming results. ” Incredibly, conventional wireless network security is still a major concern, despite the security industry assuming such issues had been resolved years ago. Many would assume these methods are ‘old hat’ but it is still a very viable attack vector that demonstrates basic security best practice is not being adopted,” says James.” As our London Warbiking exercise found, there are an astonishing number of businesses and home users employing insecure, poorly implemented, or even defunct wireless security protocols. With our voracious hunger to be online at all times, this is leaving millions of people, companies and their valuable data open to attack.” Conducted over two days around the streets of the capital, James’s warbiking exercise revealed that of 81,743 networks surveyed, some 29.5 percent were using either the known-broken Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithm, or no security encryption at all. A further 52 percent of networks were using Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) – a no longer recommended security algorithm. James warns,” Even within the security industry there are myths and misunderstanding about what the real risks are with wireless. Many argue that the unencrypted, intentionally open networks (the majority of the 29.5 per cent) are ‘OK’ as they use a captive portal to register users. Unfortunately the standard user doesn’t recognise that major brand XYZ wireless is not encrypted and that their information can be picked up by anyone with

You may also like