Photo: Teecycle Tim via Flickr
It’s called “warbiking,” and it’s exposing cyber-security problems all over London.With hackers like Anonymous gaining international attention, the emphasis on cyber-security is growing, and not just for governments. Private companies, like Stratfor and the UK’s G4S, supposed “security companies,” have had recent run-ins with possible insecurities.
One can only imagine how safe individual citizens are.
Sophos decided to do some “warbiking,” a tactic that throws a man on a bike just like a petty cab, except his passenger is a computer hooked to a special antenna. The process exposed that about 19 per cent of surveyed Wifi service used outdated, and easily crackable, encryption, and 8 per cent had no encryption at all. The survey was out of a total of 106,874 networks, across 91 miles of London.
“We took one man, a bike, a computer, a GPS, two dynamos and some solar panels to the streets of London to see how many unsecured wireless networks we could find,” Sophos told InfoSec, a cyber security news site.
InfoSec notes that the concern isn’t just about hackers, but downloaders who “piggy-back” off crackable networks, ducking copyright violations while the user of the IP address, you potentially, gets fingered for the crime.
“This exercise doesn’t paint the complete picture, but it shows enough to demonstrate that security best practice and education still need a lot of focus,” Sophos said.
Sophos added that providers should be using nothing less than WPA or WPA2 networks. A user with a strong password on those networks is virtually “uncrackable.” Those networks also should be easy to switch to from WEP, said Sophos.
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