Discover Is your Wi-Fi safe
“The discovery of these vulnerabilities comes as a surprise, because the security of Wi-Fi has in fact significantly improved over the past years,” said Vanhoef.
This new warning comes courtesy of Mathy Vanhoef, a Belgian security expert who has discovered some serious flaws in a number of popular routers.
The glitch, which has been named “FragAttacks” comes from a mixture of simple design errors within the router itself and mistakes with the software that powers them. Incredibly, some of these problems stem from when routers were first implemented back in 1997.
Vanhoef says that devices affected by the issue can be easily hacked as long as the cyber criminal is within radio range of a victim.
To give manufacturers time to fix the glitch, the problem was disclosed to the WiFi Alliance last year before being made public.
A number of high profile manufactures have already rushed to push out updates to patch the glitch.
Luckily, it doesn’t appear that hackers have yet been able to take advantage of this flaw but it’s vital that you keep your router’s software fully updated to protect your digital life from attacks.
Many firm’s including Netgear, Intel, Lenovo and Samsung have released updates and advice for customers.
In a post on its site, Netgear said, “it is aware of a set of industry-wide WiFi protocol security vulnerabilities known as Fragment and Forge. If exploited, these vulnerabilities can be used to withdraw data without your knowledge and can lead to other exploits.”
And speaking about its update, Eero’s Co-founder & CEO Nick Weaver, said: “We proactively released an eero OS patch to protect all eero customers from these issues, and we have no evidence that this issue has been exploited on eero devices.
“We appreciate all the work of independent researchers who helped bring this issue to the industry’s attention.”
Vanhoef says that if updates for your device are not yet available, you can mitigate some attacks (but not all) by assuring that websites use HTTPS and by assuring that your devices received all other available updates.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express
7 simple steps to keep your Wi-Fi safe
The following tips can help secure your home Wi-Fi network against unauthorized access.
1. Change the default name of your home Wi-Fi
The first step towards a safer home Wi-Fi is to change the SSID (service set identifier). SSID is the network’s name. Many manufactures give all their wireless routers a default SSID. In most cases it is the company’s name. When a computer with a wireless connection searches for and displays the wireless networks nearby, it lists each network that publicly broadcasts its SSID. This gives a hacker a better chance of breaking into your network. It is better to change the network’s SSID to something that does not disclose any personal information thereby throwing hackers off their mission.
2. Make your wireless network password unique and strong
Most wireless routers come pre-set with a default password. This default password is easy to guess by hackers, especially if they know the router manufacturer. When selecting a good password for your wireless network, make sure it is at least 20 characters long and includes numbers, letters, and various symbols. This setting will make it difficult for hackers to access your network.
3. Enabling network encryption
Almost all wireless routers come with an encryption feature. By default it is turned off. Turning on your wireless router’s encryption setting can help secure your network. Make sure you turn it on immediately after your broadband provider installs the router. Of the many types of encryption available, the most recent and effective is “WPA2.”
4. Turn off network name broadcasting
When using a wireless router at home, it is highly recommended that you disable network name broadcasting to the general public. This feature is often useful for businesses, libraries, hotels and restaurants that want to offer wireless Internet access to customers, but it is usually unnecessary for a private wireless network.
5. Keep your router’s software up to date
Sometimes router’s firmware, like any other software, contains flaws that can become major vulnerabilities unless they are quickly fixed by firmware releases from the manufacturer. Always install the latest software available on the system and download the latest security patches to ensure no security hole or breach is left open to online predators.
6. Make sure you have a good firewall
A “firewall” is designed to protect computers from harmful intrusions. Wireless routers generally contain built-in firewalls but are sometimes shipped with the firewall turned off. Be sure to check that the wireless router’s firewall is turned on. In case your router doesn’t have such a firewall, make sure you install a good firewall solution on your system to watch for malicious access attempts to your wireless network.
7. Use VPNs to access your network
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a group of computers or networks that work together over the Internet. Individuals can use VPNs, like Norton Secure VPN as a method to secure and encrypt their communications. When you connect to a VPN, a VPN client is launched on your computer. When you log in with your credentials your computer exchanges keys with another server. Once both computers have verified each other as authentic, all your Internet communication is encrypted and secured from outside prying.
Most of all, check what devices connect to your home network and make sure they have reliable security software like Norton Security installed against viruses and spyware.