RealNews

WiFi is vulnerable to hackers

Safeguarding wireless networks too much trouble for some. Here’s how Army Lt. Col. Clifton H. Poole, who teaches classes on wireless security at the National Defense University, gets his kicks on I-66: Several times a month, Poole turns on a laptop computer in his car as he commutes between his Reston home and the university campus at Fort McNair in Southwest Washington. As he drives, a software program records the number of “hot spots,” areas where wireless transmitters allow Internet access over the air. THE RESULTS, Poole says, scare him. After nearly two years of monitoring the same 23-mile route, Poole has watched the number of hot spots boom, as the technology known as WiFi has become the latest Big Internet Thing. Setting up a home or business wireless network gives people freedom to jump onto the Internet without their computers being tethered to cables. WiFi, short for wireless fidelity, is becoming so popular that increasing numbers of airports, coffee houses, bars and other retailers offer public hot spots to attract laptop-toting customers who want to sit and surf. But most of those networks are unprotected, vulnerable to hackers who could steal data, introduce viruses, launch spam or attack other computers. Even as the number of wireless networks has risen dramatically, Poole’s surveys suggest that the rough percentage of them that are unprotected remains above 60 percent. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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