Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Broken Fences

It appears that my thoughts on the potential dangers in the FON (Google/eBay) $5 routers to entice more consumers to Wi-Fi was on target. In "Does Wi-Fi security matter?", by Tom Espiner (ZDNet UK, June 27, 2006, 13:00 BST), he reported that according to researchers at Indiana University, a large percentage of Wi-Fi networks are "horribly insecure".

"In a study of almost 2,500 access points in Indianapolis, presented at the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security at the University of Cambridge on Monday, researchers found that 46 percent were not running any form of encryption.

"People just really don't care about Wi-Fi security, and open Wi-Fi at home is a nice big target," said Matthew Hottell, lecturer in informatics at Indiana University. "Defaults [settings] are king," added Hottell."

Now the story about the Google-eBay venture promoting free Wi-Fi with sale of $5 routers really puts a bad taste in my mouth. Of course money will win out over security. If you elect to participate in this endeavor, keep your system and security software updated and encrypt any confidential data. Broken slats in your computer's security fence can have disasterous results.

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