3 Secrets of Wireless Hackers You Need to Know
You may well think that if you are using a public wireless access point which has encryption you will be safe from hackers, but sadly, this is not so! Hackers want you to believe that you are protected, so that you will be vulnerable to their attacks.
Some Cyber-security Points To Thwart The Hackers
- WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption is of no use in protecting your wireless network. It just gives users a false sense of security. Even a not particularly skilled hacker can crack this in a matter of minutes, so it is effectively useless as protection. A lot of people set their wireless routers up some years ago, and have never changed the wireless encryption from WEP to the more recent and stronger WPA2 security. It is actually a fairly simple process, to update your router to WPA2. Just look at your wireless router’s manufacturer’s website for instructions how to do this.
- The use of your router’s MAC filter to stop unauthorised devices from joining your network is ineffective, and easily hacked. Your IP device will have a MAC address, like all others, in the network interface, and many routers give you the option to allow or deny access based on the device’s MAC address. The router checks the address of the network device requesting access and compares it to your list of permitted or denied MACs. It sounds like an excellent security mechanism in theory, but the trouble is that hackers can fake or forge a MAC address which matches an approved one. They do this by using a wireless capture packet programme to spy on the wireless traffic and see which MAC addresses are going back and forth across the network. They can then set their MAC address to mimic one of the approved ones and join the network.
- The remote administration feature can be disabled, which is a very effective measure to prevent your wireless network from hacking. A lot of wireless routers have a setting which allows you to manage the router via a wireless connection. In this way, you can access all of the router’s security settings, etc, without the need for a computer which is attached to the router by an ethernet cable. Since this is convenient for being able to administer the router remotely, it also provides a pathway for the hackers to gain access to your security settings and change them to something that they can they use for their own purposes. It is recommended that you switch off the feature which allows access via wireless, so that only a user who is physically connected to the network can make an attempt to administer the router settings.
Finally, when using public wi-fi hotspots, it is strongly recommended that you use a commercial VPN, as this offers an extra level of security which is very difficult for anyone to breach. On encountering this, most hackers will simply give up and try to find an easier target.
Picture courtesy of www.jenningswire.com