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Household Wi-Fi Might be Your Worst Nightmare, Warn Experts

The thumb rule is: always have a strong and super-secure password

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If the home Wi-Fi is what makes you feel secure for online transactions (including bitcoins), official work or sharing personal and sensitive data from the comfort of your bed, be very, very warned.

You might actually be surprised how easy it is to hack into your home Wi-Fi network, courtesy that humble router in the corner that you do not give a damn once installed by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

According to Finnish cyber security firm F-Secure, for very little money, a hacker can rent a Cloud-enabled computer and guess your network’s password in minutes by brute force or using the powerful computer to try many combinations of your password.

The threat is real and the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) recently issued an alert about Russia-sponsored hackers carrying out attacks against a large number of home routers in the U.S.

According to Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and CTO, Quick Heal Technologies, cyber criminals are known to exploit vulnerabilities in home Wi-Fi routers by delivering a payload.

“Once infected with the malware, the router can perform various malicious activities like redirecting the user to fake websites when visiting banking or other e-commerce sites,” Katkar told IANS.

The hackers can also use the infected router for the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and other illegal activities. In a DDoS attack, the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources.

“In addition to stealing personal and financial data, cyber criminals can also infect smart devices connected to the home network,” Katkar warned.

There are over eight billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices today and by 2020, the installed base of connected devices is forecast to grow to almost 31 billion globally.

Representational image.

According to F-Secure, apply some mind into which router you purchase.

“Routers that come bundled with your internet connection or the most popular routers on sites like Amazon are also the ones that are most often hacked, because their popularity makes them an obvious target,” says the cyber security firm.

It’s possible that your router might have been hacked and you don’t even know about it. By using a technique called DNS hijacking, hackers can breach the security of your home Wi-Fi.

“They can redirect your traffic to a website run by them, causing you to unwittingly give your credit card number or Facebook login credentials to a criminal,” said F-Secure.

Your home Wi-Fi network can easily be broken into if you have a weak password.

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“Customers should be cautious and look for a solution which can block this malicious traffic and secure all the devices like laptops/desktops, smartphones, smart TVs, smart speakers etc. connected to the home network,” suggested Katkar.

Some ways to have a secure home Wi-Fi experience are to ask for a router that supports the newest Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security standard called “WPA3,” announced recently by the non-profit Wi-Fi Alliance that promotes the technology technology and certifies Wi-Fi products.

You can also create a separate network for your guests with a different network name and password so in case of a hacking from their devices, your family data is secured.

The thumb rule is: always have a strong and super-secure password. (IANS)

Next Story

India Sold Over 204 mn WiFi Devices in 2018: Report

The market research firm predicted smartphones would continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base

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As many as 204.5 million WiFi enabled consumer devices were sold in 2018, with mobile phones contributing close to 90 per cent of the sales, a new report said on Tuesday.

According to market research firm techARC, WiFi sale of enabled devices is expected to grow at 8 per cent in 2019 with sales touching 221 million units, primarily led by smart and connected devices for home and office automation.

“The future lies in wireless highspeed connectivity and WiFi offers one of the most reliable and affordable alternatives to it. We have seen so far WiFi enablement through legacy IT and communications devices like laptops, routers and smartphones.

“This is now shifting to other consumer electronics like TVs, lighting, ACs and refrigerators. At the same time, it’s also penetrating into automobiles as well as other traditionally dumb IT peripherals like storage devices,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at techARC, said in a statement.

Nigeria, Population
Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

In terms of active user base, the research firm estimates India is having close to 600 million consumer devices being used for communication, productivity, entertainment and other smart and connected use cases.

Also Read: Love is Central to Friendship on Snapchat in India

The market research firm predicted smartphones would continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base.

However, the growth will be seen more in smart TVs including streaming devices as well as other home automation/smart devices leveraging WiFi connectivity. (IANS)