25 May 2006
Almost half of all UK wireless networks are open to attack, according
to research from anti-virus company Kaspersky.
The report found that a shocking 49 per cent of wireless networks in
London were operating without any encryption.
Tests in the business district in London's Canary Wharf found the area
marginally safer, although 40 per cent of wireless networks were still
Kaspersky's research was carried out between 25 and 28 April 2006 in
various areas of London, and at the Infosec security conference, with
data collected from more than 600 Wi-Fi access points.
"You would expect a major business site and a security exhibition to
be particularly security conscious, so the level of vulnerability at
both of these sites is surprising," said Alexander Gostev, senior
virus analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
"Canary Wharf is home to multinational banks and insurance companies
and would be the perfect location for a hacker wanting to steal
lucrative confidential or proprietary information."
Gostev warned that the fallout from an attack on these organisations
could be catastrophic.
Kaspersky explained said it did not attempt to connect to the networks
it found, nor to intercept or decrypt traffic.
The research showed that problems still exist for wireless technology.
"Wireless networks and protocols have not got over their teething
troubles, and can pose a serious risk in the hands of inexperienced
users," the report concluded.
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