Most people don’t notice the presence of a blinking little box located somewhere in the corner and think of it as a given… But one day someone steals your bandwidth or sensitive data like credit card details or passwords, and whom to blame? This little router? No, you should blame yourself for being so careless to your best friend who gives you access to Netflix, Facebook, and “how not to be ugly in an ugly Christmas sweater” — your Wi-Fi router!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Wi-Fi at home, at work or anyplace else, knowing who and what is on your network is extremely important. An unauthorized user can do pretty much anything starting from streaming pirated movies and ending with hacking into your system or even stealing your identity. Are you absolutely sure that you’re using your wireless network alone?
The Most Common Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities
I bet you use only one security measure for protecting your home network — password. And I bet that you change a password only to prevent neighbors from accessing your traffic (how did they know that JasonStatham1 is my password?). Given a huge number of different attacks due to the Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, this is, obviously, not enough for providing the proper protection from cybercriminals. Here are some of the most famous attacks.
- WPS attacks. WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup. It is a security standard created to secure a home wireless network using an eight-digit PIN to authenticate users. However, the protocol has several serious programming and design vulnerabilities. Hackers successfully exploit them. Pixie Dust attack allows malicious users to receive a router PIN quickly due to those bugs. Deactivation of WPS, in this case, is an effective way to secure your wireless network.
WEP or Wired Equivalent Privacy is another Wi-Fi security form that is often targeted by hackers in order to crack the key.
- Rogue APs. A Rogue AP is a wireless access point installed without the authorization of a secure network system administrator. The attack poses a serious threat leading to data breaches by providing a wireless backdoor into your network. Usually, though, such so-called soft access points are deployed by employees in order to receive wireless access within the corporation.
- KRACK. Key Reinstallation Attacks or KRACK is another Wi-Fi vulnerability which can be used to steal sensitive data by receiving unauthorized access. Malicious users exploit the bugs in the WPA and WPA2 (Wireless Protected Access) protocols. It’s noteworthy that KRACK does not affect HTTPS traffic and the attack cannot be carried out remotely.
- WPA/WPA2 PKMID. The new hacking technique for cracking WPA2 networks requires fewer efforts and information than the previous ones. The so-called PKMID Hashcat Attack made it a lot easier for hackers to target vulnerable access points directly. As in the previous case, an attacker should be within the range of the wireless network to make it happen.
How to Increase Your Wi-Fi Network Security
As you can see, there are lots of vulnerabilities in a wireless network. However, it doesn’t mean that you should switch to a wired connection immediately. There are things everybody can do for ensuring the highest protection. Just consider using the following tips in order to secure your Wi-Fi.
- Access admin panel with Ethernet. Make sure to log into your admin panel only with a wired Internet connection in order to prevent interception of the login credentials. It’s also wise to disable remote access for making any changes in the admin panel. This way, you’ll decrease the possibility of hacking into your system.
- Change the default login. It’s highly important to change the default login credentials that come with a router. The step that is usually skipped by most people. You shouldn’t be a hacker to know that those are easily accessible online. Therefore, knowing the type of your router will give a malicious user an opportunity to break in with no efforts.
- Change SSID. SSID is the public name of your router. The brand or model of your device is given by the default. This is why it’s recommended to change the name right away.
- Encrypt. It’s necessary to encrypt your router with a WPA2 or WPA Personal mode. Avoid choosing WEP encryption because it’s not reliable.
- Disable WPS. Wi-Fi Protected Setup or WPS makes it easier to connect new devices to a network. However, it should be disabled because it can be cracked in no time. For the same reason, it’s strongly recommended to disable UPnP (Universal Plug and Play).
- Keep your router updated. It’s noteworthy that your software and firmware should always be updated to the newest version. This is key to the higher security of your wireless network.
Well, if these measures seem too complicated for you, we also listed 8 Easy Steps to Secure Home Wireless Router.
Now you know that neglecting the proper security of your wireless network is not acceptable (as unacceptable as throwing paper on the street!). Whether you’re a simple home user, a small business owner or a CEO of a large corporation ensuring the highest level of your Wi-Fi protection is necessary. A few simple steps will save you time, effort and the money spent on dealing with the consequences of a cyber-attack afterward. Knowing who uses your wireless network and taking all the precautions is a top priority for those willing to keep their data safe.
Wi-Fi networks can be quite vulnerable and the chances that your connection has a number of vulnerabilities right now are really high. In the hands of a sophisticated hacker, those vulnerabilities can be exploited in any way beneficial for a cybercriminal. Why give them such an advantage?
At ROKKEX, we take security extremely seriously and our crypto exchange is built on ‘Security First’ principle. We want to share our expertise with the broader public for the world to become happy, safe, and wise.
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