Easy To Exploit Wireless Networks - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Easy To Exploit Wireless Networks

Published January 7, 2011

It has come to light that it is apparently very easy to hack into even password-secure wireless networks of those who use Síminn.
The Post and Telecom Office of Iceland brought the matter to public attention. Many wireless networks can be wide open, without password controls, although those who get wireless service from the telecommunications company Síminn are given a password for their wireless networks. However, many of these default passwords can be found on the internet. Those seeking to exploit someone else’s wireless network need only try these default passwords, either manually or with a brute force program.
Fréttablaðið reports that this problem has been known at the technical department at Síminn, although the company did not feel it necessary to warn its clients of the possibility of having vulnerable wireless networks.
The potential harm that such an exploit could cause ranges from someone using your wireless network to access the internet and maxing out your personal download allowance, if you have a limited plan, or using your network to download illegal materials – for which the person with the wireless account would be blamed, even if no such material were found on their computer. More computer-savvy hackers could even be able to get directly into your machine and access personal information and data.
Hrafnkell Gíslason, the director of the Post and Telecom Office, told reporters that the office is looking into the problem and intends to arrive at a solution as soon as possible.
We at the Grapevine recommend that when you get a wireless network, change the password immediately into a nonsensical combination of numbers, letters, and symbols in both upper and lower case, and change the password frequently.


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