Sen. Schumer Calls for Greater Security

By Cindy Waxer February 28, 2011

Sen. Charles Schumer is demanding that website giants such as Amazon and Twitter kick up their security efforts a notch by switching to a more secure protocol. As reported by Reuters, the New York Democrat held a news conference at a Manhattan coffee shop where he warned on-lookers that increased WiFi access is opening the floodgates to ill-intentioned hackers who wish to steal confidential data such as credit card numbers and account passwords.

"The number of people who use WiFi to access the Internet in coffee shops, bookstores and beyond is growing by leaps and bounds," Schumer said to the coffee klatch, according to Reuters. "The quickest and easiest way to shut down this one-stop shop for identity theft is for major websites to switch to secure HTTPS web addresses instead of the less secure HTTP protocol."

Schumer’s concerns are far from fear mongering. As reported earlier by TechZone360.com, despite the widespread availability of WiFi security tools, nearly half of all home WiFi networks can be hacked in seconds, according to a new survey.

Detailed research carried out for the card protection and insurance company CPP revealed that after analyzing 40,000 different WiFi networks in six cities in the U.K., almost half had no password or very poor security encryption. As a result, nearly 50 percent of Internet users are vulnerable to hackers who can easily strip a hard drive of personal and financial information.

What’s worse, the survey discovered that large numbers of people will log on to an open “rogue” access point in the city center without asking any questions regarding security, thereby making themselves vulnerable to serious data security breaches. In fact, in London, the test found 155 victims, in Birmingham 103, and in Manchester 72, with the overall rate equivalent to around 350 per hour. In all cases, the hackers were able to obtain usernames and passwords from public network users sitting in local coffee shops and restaurants.

"With the growth in the number of smartphones and wireless networks, it has become far easier for hackers to crack usernames and passwords, allowing them access to e-mails, social networks and online banking sites and even to assume the online identity of their victim," said CryptoCard’s Jason Hart, the ethical hacker who conducted the wardriving.




Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

SpaceX and Blue Origin Talk Seriously Going to Mars

By: Doug Mohney    9/29/2016

SpaceX CEO and nerd-god Elon Musk put forth his architecture for mankind to colonize Mars and potentially other bodies in our solar system on Tuesday,…

Read More

The Galaxy Note 7 Disaster: Samsung's Strategic Weakness

By: Rob Enderle    9/29/2016

Samsung was really the only company in recent years to truly threaten Apple successfully; granted, they did so largely with Google's help. But Apple h…

Read More

Was the Yahoo Hack State-Sponsored? Unlikely Says Cyber Expert

By: Gerald Baldino    9/28/2016

Last week, Yahoo confirmed at least 500 million user accounts were compromised by a data breach in 2014. The attack was the largest security breach ev…

Read More

Will Disney Make Twitter the Happiest Social Media on Earth?

By: Alicia Young    9/26/2016

To get back on their feet, Twitter is reportedly seeking an acquisition deal that would value them at $30 billion. There are a few contenders already,…

Read More

500M Yahoo! Users Impacted by Hack; What It Says About Password Protection

By: Paula Bernier    9/23/2016

Yahoo! is facing a lot of challenges lately. Add to the heap the breach - which the company confirmed today - that has affected 500 million Yahoo! acc…

Read More