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Home » Hacking News » City warned of 'drive-by' hacking

City warned of 'drive-by' hacking

by baqad on November 21st, 2001 A report warns sensitive data from major financial institutions is wide open to the new phenomenon of 'drive-by' hacking.

Computing magazine says many companies are transmitting information into the street without even basic encryption.

Security consultants picked up signals from wireless networks in London by walking and driving down streets with a laptop and equipment freely available over the internet.

The Orthus workers picked up signals from wireless networks at 124 companies based in and around the City. Some 85 of the signals were unencrypted, Computing reports.

Security was tighter in the City than in other nearby areas, but even there, of 48 signals intercepted, 28 were unencrypted.

"Wireless technology is now very common and can be protected by sensible security measures," said Computing managing editor Michael Gubbins.

"It is incredible that some of the biggest names in the City would allow themselves to become easy meat for hackers and industrial spies."

Wireless local area networks are used in offices to connect computers and devices such as printers. Transmissions have a range of up to 200 metres and can be easily and cheaply intercepted.

The consultants walked around with just a laptop, a £129 wireless network card and free software downloaded from the internet.

Richard Hollis, managing director at Orthus, says anyone with malicious intent could have grabbed user ids, passwords and even wire fund transfers.

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