Science & Technology Law

Wi-Fi Users Are At Risk for Widespread Hacking, New York Times Says

Think the password to your social networking account keeps your information secure? Think again.

Especially for those who use unsecured Wi-Fi networks in public, but even for those who have wireless Internet connections at home, there is a big issue. It is now remarkably easy for even unskilled hackers, in effect, to peer over your shoulder as you chat online or impersonate you later and potentially change the information you’ve posted online, the New York Times reports.

A free program called Firesheep, for instance, makes it easy for neophytes to get hold of the Web browser cookies, unless you are using a website that begins with https or other special protections.

“Like it or not, we are now living in a cyberpunk novel,” says Darren Kitchen, a systems administrator who created the Hak5 video podcast about computer security. “When people find out how trivial and easy it is to see and even modify what you do online, they are shocked.”

Related coverage: “Angry at Attorney, Neighbor Hacked His Encrypted Wi-Fi & Sent Child Porn to His Law Firm Colleagues”

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