Go Back   Computer Forums > General Computing > Cyber Safety and Computer Security
Click Here to Login
Join Computer forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-21-2014, 05:40 PM   #1
Solid State Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Default Why is WiFi Unsafe?

I know that WiFi is often considered unsafe, due to hackers lurking, but I am wondering why specifically hackers are better able to hack a WiFi user or network vs a landline one? Is there something particularly vulnerable about WiFi in and of itself?

Thanks for everyone's input here!
__________________

CaptainAmerica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014, 08:56 PM   #2
Golden Master
 
BK_123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,532
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

WiFi is only unsafe when you haven't secured you network using a security key which all WiFi routers now ship with it already done for you. The only way a hacker can hack into your network is if you are using WEP encryption for your security which is the weakest and old encryption and is easily able to be hacked whereas WPA & WPA2 are a lot harder as they use better an encryption methods. For added security you can use MAC filtering if your router supports it which majority of them do. It is where you can permit selected devices onto your network using the devices MAC address or you can set it so unknown devices that are not on the filtering list are denied access to the network. If you are using an open WiFi network that uses no security key then you are at more risk like using a coffee shop or hotel but some are configured so that you may have to pay to use it even though it may be open some just let you on through.
__________________

BK_123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2014, 02:51 AM   #3
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 61
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

I often wonder the same things with the UK based BT Fon network. It uses BT's main network plus Customers (which I used to be) can offer up a slice of their bandwidth so other Fon uses can connect via Wi-Fi. How secure it is in practice though, I have never actually asked the question. I have made sure that my lappy is using WPA2 settings.
Transk53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2014, 08:21 AM   #4
..m.0,0.m..
Site Team
 
iPwn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,870
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

IMHO, WiFi is so insecure because it is an openly 'heard' transmission.

Let's say there's a large company with several thousand employees. They most likely have an Intrusion Detection|Protection System (IDS/IPS) on their internal network. These just sit there and analyze traffic to detect breach attempts, among other things. As soon as the 'hacker' plugs into the network (which he would have had to gain access to the building(s), and plug in somewhere), his traffic is under scrutiny and he is more likely to be discovered, several factors permitting.

Now imagine he's sitting in the parking lot with his WiFi antenna set to Promiscuous mode (just listening and capturing data). He can capture (probably encrypted) communications to his hearts content. With a few special tricks, he can capture the encryption key too (it's very easy on WPA2, too). Then, it's just a matter of time before he brute forces that key, probably on a different/dedicated setup at his home. All this while the company has no idea.

It's not always that WiFi encryption/methods are weaker/inferior... It is largely due to the constant availability of an opening, and how incognito attackers can do their company 'footprint'ing.'

There are obviously more factors than just the above, but in a perfect environment where everything you can possibly do is done, that is something you can't just turn off, especially if your wireless network supports a critical business function.
__________________
Me: You'd think as the dominant species we wouldn't be so effing stupid.
J: We're just intelligent enough to be completely effing stupid.
iPwn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2014, 09:58 AM   #5
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 61
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

Good reply :thup: A while ago at work, we actually caught someone doing that very thing to company network, at least that was transpired later after the police wanted to speak with us. In this case he was no hacker, just the tools and knowledge to use them. Not sure what the result was, but it go to the criminal courts.
Transk53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
Wizard of Wires
 
setishock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Not sure
Posts: 10,030
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

I give you an example of why it's not safe. We have a hacker staying here. He's trying to sniff the guests wireless network. He's not real good at it because his IP keeps popping up in my firewall. But he is jamming up the network making it crawl and drop out for some. I have a sandbox on my back up laptop and just for S&G's I'm going to let his probing lead him to that. It's labeled credit card info. Nasty stuff in there. Really nasty.

If he gets in to an unprotected computer and some one uses their credit card online to buy something, he "possibly" could get the numbers
setishock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014, 01:52 AM   #7
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 84
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

I personally believe it depends on your encryption key and whether you use a strong key that no one can guess. Obviously if you use WPA-2 and your key is really easy to guess or crack then you stand the chance of someone stealing your information. The router too makes a difference if you get and use just your ISP providers router then you stand the chance of it being hacked as they are usually not as good.
Randy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2014, 03:12 AM   #8
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 61
Default Re: Why is WiFi Unsafe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by setishock View Post
I give you an example of why it's not safe. We have a hacker staying here. He's trying to sniff the guests wireless network. He's not real good at it because his IP keeps popping up in my firewall. But he is jamming up the network making it crawl and drop out for some. I have a sandbox on my back up laptop and just for S&G's I'm going to let his probing lead him to that. It's labeled credit card info. Nasty stuff in there. Really nasty.

If he gets in to an unprotected computer and some one uses their credit card online to buy something, he "possibly" could get the numbers
Hope you are making that box smaller..
__________________

__________________
"There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses"
Transk53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0