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Wireless Security: Hacked

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Security Help

I have written several different articles about securing your wireless connections. Having an insecure wireless network is like getting a megaphone and announcing your social security number to your whole neighborhood. When your wireless network is not encrypted, anyone within range can gain access to your data fairly easily.

A few days ago, some bad news came through the line. It seems like one method of wireless encryption has been broken. A hacker has been able to break the encryption and gain access to data, even when the security is turned on. The encryption type that has been broken is called WPA-TKIP. It’s one of the most common types of wireless network encryption, which means many wireless networks could be at risk.

Luckily, I’m sharing this information with you well before anyone can get to your data. It seems as if the hacker who has broken the wireless security is the only one so far. In a week or so, he will tell the rest of the world how he did it. After that, others will be able to use his technique and hack wireless connections around the world.

So, how can you protect yourself? Allow me to explain!

Many wireless routers come with different types of security. The three main types are called WEP, WPA and WPA2. WEP and WPA are now vulnerable to attack. WEP has been known as a weak system for some time and WPA was just hacked a few days ago. On the other hand, WPA2 has not been affected. That means if you change your wireless security to WPA2, you’ll be safe.

If you want to check and see what security you have on your wireless connection, you’ll need the manual for your wireless router. Look in the manual for directions on how to set up the wireless security. Once you find that information, look to see which method you’re currently using. If you’re using WEP or WPA, you should change to WPA2. If you’re not using any at all, please activate WPA2!

While most routers support WPA2, some do not. If your router doesn’t support WPA2, you should continue to use WPA. Yes, it has been hacked, but it’s far better than using nothing at all. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary

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