Open Wifi Connections still at large in India

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wifi Scanning is a very good exercise and should be carried out regularly, it helps not only to secure yourself from troubles caused by some malacious person but even to keep bandwidth suckers from using your wifi internet for free and you pay the bills.

In a city like Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, the Internet has become indispensable with millions of e-mails sent daily, electronic transactions made and data transferred. But how secure is the World Wide Web? A Bangalore Mirror and TIMES NOW team travelled from Koramangla in South Bangalore to 'Electronic City' and found over 40,000 unsecure Wi-Fi networks in the city.

Electronic City is considered a software hub, and as the world celebrates 40 years of the Internet, we found 40,000 unsecure Wi-Fi networks in the city with 600 alone in the 12-kilometre stretch the team covered.

The thousands of access points make for easy pickings for a terrorist with the right resources.

Armed with laptops and two powerful wireless antennae, the team began 'War Driving' - the process of scanning for vulnerable wi-fi networks to crack into their domains. The process was somewhat tedious - beginning with a scan for unsecure wi-fi networks, then searching for open air networks, and finally a scan for networks with WEP or Wired Equivalent Privacy-enabled networks - considered the weakest.

Accompanying us were Members of the Indian Cyber Army, a group of anti-hackers.

Once a vulnerable wi-fi user was scanned thoroughly, his WEP key was cracked by the Wireless Penetration Testing system. Then we used the same WEP key to get to the access point of the network provider. After successfully acquiring the access point, we acquired an Internet Protocol from the same network which enabled us to access the internet. Finally, we sent mails from those hacked access points to the Karnataka police.

Here are the do's and don'ts to secure a wi-fi network.

1. You must use strong encryption keys and a user-based authentication.

2. Don't use a default password for your network.

3. Always disconnect your network when not in use.

These are simple steps that might prevent your internet network from becoming the gateway to cyber terror. News Source


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