City wireless networks vulnerable to attack

City wireless networks vulnerable to attack

City businesses remain "pitifully slack" in securing their wireless networks from drive by hackers, says RSA Security.

A second round of WLAN research commissioned by RSA Security has revealed the number of wireless networks deployed in businesses across London has grown 300% in the past year. However, security remains slack with an increase in the type of devices such as wireless enabled laptops and PDAs, increasing the risk for businesses to leak unencrypted data into the streets.

With a hand-held scanner, researchers were able to pick up information from company wireless networks by simply driving around the business district of London. Following the same procedure and route as last year, the research identified that 63% of the networks surveyed were left on default configuration - a common security slip - clearly identifying the company owning the data and where it was coming from. The latest technology also allows researchers to pinpoint exactly how many wireless network access points and wireless enabled laptops, a business has.

RSA says the findings reveal that London businesses are even more vulnerable to all kinds of malicious hacking techniques, from computer eavesdropping on company secrets, through to computer network disruption and launching denial of service attacks using the cover of the unsuspecting company.

"The threat to London's business has drastically worsened," says Tim Pickard, strategic marketing director, RSA Security. "We have seen a proliferation of the use of wireless networks around London, but the steps taken to secure these networks are still woefully inadequate."

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