Tagged: wireless security

WiFi Worries: Study Finds Popular Home Routers Are Vulnerable to Hacking

When WiFi users complain about getting hacked on their home networks, it’s often the result of their own careless wireless behavior — everything from using simple passwords to outdated security. But a new study reveals that home WiFi users aren’t the only ones responsible for some very serious wireless security problems. Thirteen of the most popular home and small office routers have critical security vulnerabilities that could create major risks to users — risks that are out of their control.

Find out which routers you should watch out for and what you can do to protect your online security.

HTC Settles Security Case, Agrees to Audits for 20 Years

Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has agreed to settle charges that it failed to patch a security vulnerability on its smartphones and tablet computers.

These failures introduced security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk. The flaw was first discovered by a developer in 2011.

Click to find out more about the settlement with the FTC.

Connecting to WiFi with a Little Help from Your Facebook Friends and a Lot of Access for Your Enemies

If you’re one of the millions of Wifi users constantly looking for new ways to connect, a new free app called Instabridge might sound like just the ticket. The company promises to build the world’s largest Wifi network by letting users connect to their friends’ Wifi via Facebook.

But what would that mean for your wireless security and your privacy? We don’t think you’ll like the answer.


Getting Hacked on Amtrak: It’s a Lot More Likely to Happen on Trains That Block VPNs

An email we recently received from a PRIVATE WiFi™ subscriber highlights a serious security issue for hotspot users on many Amtrak trains. What happens when you have VPN software to protect your sensitive information, but Amtrak prevents you from using it.

The answer might make you think twice before you connect.

Why Medical Devices Provide Little or No Protection Against Hackers

Wireless technology has made it possible to create implantable medical devices that do everything from monitoring the heart rhythms of patients to delivering the correct amount of insulin to diabetics. But according to a new report by the General Accounting Office, that lifesaving technology has also left the door wide open to hackers.

Find out why wireless medical devices could be dangerous to your health and to your pocketbook.

network security

Ask the Expert: WPA and WPA2 WiFi Networks Are Always Safe, Right?

Q: “My home wifi network uses the WPA (WiFi Protected Access) security protocol, which I’ve always been told is virtually hack-proof. I’m wondering how hard it would be for a dedicated hacker to break into my network. Could a hacker actually do that?”

A: Almost all home wifi networks these days use WPA or WPA2 for their security protocols, which have long been considered to be the best wifi security available.

However, Dan Goodin recently published an article in Ars Technica that detailed how, with the right tools, he was able to crack his neighbor’s WPA protected wifi network. It’s pretty sobering stuff.

But before we get into that, let’s go through a quick primer.


From BEAST to CRIME: Another Attack Exposes HTTPS Vulnerability

You might remember how a few months ago we detailed how HTTPS (or secure web browsing) is not really as secure as it seems. Last fall, two security researchers demonstrated a program they called BEAST that allows hackers to gain access to restricted user accounts.

Well, the same researchers have found another vulnerability in HTTPS. And this one may be even worse than the first.

Why HTTPS Is Not Secure

But first, let’s provide a little background on HTTPS.


CNN Misses the Mark in Reporting of Personal VPNS, Travel, Cyber-Crime

Using a personal virtual private network is the only way to guard your privacy at a public WiFi hotspot, yet CNN missed a significant opportunity to point out this simple fact in its recent reporting on travel-related cyber-crime.

Other mainstream media — such as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times (in their words: “Well, why are you sending data in clear text over open networks, anyway? You should never ever do that”) — have heartily endorsed the use of a personal VPN like Private WiFi.

Yet in its recent post, CNN acknowledged that the best approach for business travelers when using public WiFi is to remotely log into their employers’ VPN.

Covering Your Ass-ets: Average Internet User Risks $37,000 In Online Accounts

If you’re like most people, you are not covering your “ass-ets” across all digital devices.

A global study from McAfee revealed that consumers place an average value of $37,438 on the “digital assets” they own across multiple digital devices, yet more than 33% lack protection across computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Despite the high financial and emotional value of their assets stored in various places, 32% of the consumers who don’t use security protection on all of their devices still don’t think they need it.

However, 86% did agree that purchasing security protection was money well spent (ahem, like using a personal VPN).

Ask the Expert: Can a Botnet Really Turn My Computer Into a Zombie?

Q: “I recently read about something called bots and botnets, and that these things can turn my computer into a zombie. What does that mean? Can you explain what botnets are and what they do?”

A: Botnets are a new and scary online phenomenon. In layman’s terms, a botnet is a network of infected computers that are controlled virtually by a botmaster.

With the rapid growth in bot infections, it’s vitally important that everyone get up to speed about this threat.

Night of the Living BotNets

Botmasters can take over computers in a variety of ways, but usually they do it by sending infected emails to unsuspecting users. When the user opens a file attached to the email, their machine becomes infected.

After a computer becomes infected, the botmaster adds it to his or her botnet, which is the network of infected computers. Infected computers are sometimes called “zombie” computers.


PRIVATE WiFi Joins AOL’s Security Suite

We are happy to announce an exciting partnership with AOL to offer fully licensed subscriptions of our flagship software on AOL’s Lifestore.com.

This means that AOL users can immediately download a 30-day free trial of PRIVATE WiFi and/or purchase a monthly subscription for $9.99. There is no commitment, so users can cancel at any time without penalties.

Members can download up to three complimentary PRIVATE WiFi licenses for their laptops, which if purchased separately would amount to an annual retail expense of nearly $360.

Fast, Free and Out of Control: Why Wifi Users Disconnect from Wireless Security Risks at Hotspots

Do you ever wonder why so many Americans are becoming victims of identity fraud? According to the 2012 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research, one of the chief reasons is our irresponsible mobile behavior. Find out why Wifi hotspot users continue to ignore the risks to their wireless security – and what you can do to avoid getting burned.