According to experts, at least 20% of Wi-Fi networks used by Australians in their homes are hackable by using easy to get technology.
A researcher told a Sydney Morning Herald reporter that the most people can do is have a strong password, although even ‘password security’ is a misconception.
Stilgherrian, a technology commentator and bloggers agreed, and noted that older Wired Equivalent Protection (WEP) systems are not properly secure.
Stilgherrian told the SBS that if a Wi-Fi isn’t secured, the signal isn’t encrypted, making it possible for anyone to use a receiver to record information.
He also said that a WEP password is not adequate any more, so if anyone wants to figure out the password, it will only take them around 10 minutes.
Theft of data isn’t the only potential problem. Hackers use Wi-Fi from other people in order to commit fraud or access child pornography.
People with older style modems usually do not realize this and feel secure with software that is easy to crack.
Wire Point of Access (WPA) and WPA2 use encryption techniques which provide more security, he added, but even with these newer Wi-Fi networks, they are still open to ‘brute force attack’.
Chris Gatford from HackLabs – an ‘ethical hacking’ firm which tests the security of big companies’ and banks’ – says that WPA works well, but hackers will find a way to break in.
Gatford added that if steps are taken to make the time necessary to crack the network arduous, then hackers will be discouraged, while stressing that the majority of hackers are opportunistic.
Devices, which are sometimes readily-available, barrage secured Wi-Fi networks using variations of passwords until the system has been penetrated, have been in use for a long time.