Citrix: Smart Network Security Choices Can Save You From Hacker Headaches!
Untrusted, or “open”, Wi-Fi is available practically everywhere—cafes and coffee shops, libraries, pubs and bars, entertainment venues—name any place where people gather and one can likely find open, free Wi-Fi there.
Open Wi-Fi is generally defined as wireless networks that provide free, unencrypted access without the need to identify yourself, or for the Wi-Fi access point to identify itself (authentication). Providing open Wi-Fi is considered a value-added service or feature of many consumer-oriented businesses today. Combined with sometimes unacceptable cellular bandwidth or signal strength, and data plan limits, it is difficult to resist the lure of open, free Wi-Fi. But in life, cause and effect is a reality virtually everyone acknowledges. The convenience of open Wi-Fi (cause) introduces security threats (effect), and places the responsibility of safely utilizing these services on the end user (effect).
The principal threat impacting users of open Wi-Fi is traffic sniffing, or eavesdropping, whereby an attacker “listens” in on wireless traffic that is not encrypted, potentially providing access to sensitive data. Probably the best public display of the consequences surrounding the use of unencrypted, open Wi-Fi is the “Wall of Sheep”, a staple at the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas for more than fifteen years. The Wall of Sheep tracks people (sheep) at the conference that use open, unencrypted Wi-Fi to send email, login to websites, message their friends, etc. These sheeple (Riverside’s term, not ours) are publicly shamed by posting redacted login details for each of their infractions on the “wall of sheep”. In virtually every case, these conference attendees connected to either DefCon-Open, the purpose-built open Wi-Fi network hosted at DefCon for catching unsafe Internet users, or a researcher or attacker’s “rogue” open Wi-Fi. DefCon attendees can connect securely to the official, encrypted DefCon Wi-Fi network by downloading their certificate.
Read the entire article here, Smart Network Security Choices Can Save You From Hacker Headaches!
via the fine folks at Citrix Systems, Inc.