Oh Bog Now It’s Wi-Fi

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Did I say Wi-Fi. That was 48 hours ago. How about SSH? I’m not going into details but advise everyone to look it up on the Internet and ask your developers if they use SSH.

One wonderful lady wrote to me on Facebook and said if I used https everywhere it would fix the problem. I wish!  https everywhere is a great tool to use, period. But it’s not enough if you need to protect all your devices.

We are getting bombarded by so many hacks it’s almost turned into another boring bit of techno geek stuff we are expected to firstly understand, and then secondly fix ourselves.

What exactly does it mean to hear that there are 7 vulnerabilities to any WAP or WAP2 system for Wi-Fi? We are all screwed because this vulnerability isn’t confined to one vendor but to the very core encryption protocol used by all Wi-Fi devices. This means our credit card information, personal info including social security information, names, addresses, photos, passwords, and even driving data if we own a smart car, are all vulnerable.

Let’s start with Smart Phones. If you don’t already use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) you’re really dumb. Just don’t expect immediate updates. Macs may be particularly vulnerable as will PCs although Microsoft is rolling out some software releases. Apple said it will have a fix available in few weeks. Did I mention VPN before? I haven’t heard yet from Intel or Samsung but without a doubt they are all scrambling to get their fixes out there. That may take a number of weeks.

What about routers and switching, voice and UCD, and then the Wireless. Cisco Systems lists affected routers here.

What’s the good news? Not that this fills me with delight. A hacker will need to get within a few hundred feet of your device. Well OK, if I’m plugged into a local public wireless network I’m vulnerable unless umm, did I mention a VPN before? What about other devices?  Apart from PCs, Macs, and Smart Phones. Lets continue with watches, TVs or even cars. Anything ‘smart’ is vulnerable and all these devices are going to need updating. Oops.  Remember that smart fridge you just purchased that tells you when you’ve run out of butter. Bang!

I don’t even know how to update my TV but am hoping that it’s own software and the manufacturer are going to do that for me, but that may not be the case. I’ve been told I need to check in with each manufacturer.

Whose the most vulnerable? Businesses. Business thinks its local Wi-Fi is protected from outside hackers but this is so far from the truth it’s frightening. I am particularly fearful for the small businesses who have no network resources to turn to. I would advise those businesses to contact their ISPs immediately. And the rest of us need to watch this space, update any software for our desktops, phones, TVs, cars, and any other device that can connect to anything wirelessly, (not forgetting our new fridges) and then share with all our friends because not everyone is going to get this.

I’m done now. Hope you can all sleep well at night.


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