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

Mobile is the Next Great Front in Digital Video Monetization

By: Tara Seals    7/7/2015

As opposed to TV's channel-surfing-friendly programming presentation, online and mobile video has always been seen as more of a foraging experience wh…

Read More

Google Entering Carpool Lane in Israel

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/7/2015

Google launched its crack at a ride-sharing service in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv Monday, aiming at supplementing traditional taxi services and tran…

Read More

Amazon Looks to Supplant Black Friday with Prime Day Deals

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/7/2015

Amazon, the online buying and selling behemoth that originated as online bookstore and subsequently became one of the Internet's largest marketplaces,…

Read More

The DiePhone: The Many Ways Your Smartphone Could Kill You or Someone You Love

By: Rob Enderle    7/7/2015

An iPhone case shaped like a gun has been flagged on the East Coast and it comes with a "fun" Russian roulette app. I'm sure there are stupider things…

Read More

Tables are Turned as Hackers are Hacked

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/6/2015

In an ironic turn of events, one of the world's largest providers of surveillance technology was hacked last night. The Hacking Team is an Italian-bas…

Read More