5 Sep 2009
In a city like Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, the Internet has
become indispensable with millions of e-mails sent daily, electronic
transactions made and data transferred. But how secure is the World Wide
Web? A Bangalore Mirror and TIMES NOW team travelled from Koramangla in
South Bangalore to 'Electronic City' and found over 40,000 unsecure
Wi-Fi networks in the city.
Electronic City is considered a software hub, and as the world
celebrates 40 years of the Internet, we found 40,000 unsecure Wi-Fi
networks in the city with 600 alone in the 12-kilometre stretch the team
The thousands of access points make for easy pickings for a terrorist
with the right resources.
Armed with laptops and two powerful wireless antennae, the team began
'War Driving' - the process of scanning for vulnerable wi-fi networks to
crack into their domains. The process was somewhat tedious - beginning
with a scan for unsecure wi-fi networks, then searching for open air
networks, and finally a scan for networks with WEP or Wired Equivalent
Privacy-enabled networks - considered the weakest.
Accompanying us were Members of the Indian Cyber Army, a group of
Once a vulnerable wi-fi user was scanned thoroughly, his WEP key was
cracked by the Wireless Penetration Testing system. Then we used the
same WEP key to get to the access point of the network provider. After
successfully acquiring the access point, we acquired an Internet
Protocol from the same network which enabled us to access the internet.
Finally, we sent mails from those hacked access points to the Karnataka
Here are the do's and don'ts to secure a wi-fi network.
1. You must use strong encryption keys and a user-based authentication.
2. Don't use a default password for your network.
3. Always disconnect your network when not in use.
These are simple steps that might prevent your internet network from
becoming the gateway to cyber terror.
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