1. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Chandigarh Stories Page 1 of 1
Internet security big challenge for PC users
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service
Mohali, February 15
Anti-virus software developers might never be able to catch up with hackers. You
have secured your computer from information theft and criminal hacking but in the
end it just might be your mobile phone that lets you down.
A new breed of criminal hackers called the quot;war driversquot; is becoming a serious
threat to wireless network users.
quot;Anyone with a notebook computer, an inexpensive wireless network card, freely
downloaded software and an antenna made from something as simple as a can of
packed food can hack into wireless networks in homes and companies from
hundreds of feet away,quot; warned Mr Ravinder Singh Zandu, a senior scientist with
the Centre for the Development of Avanced computing (CDAC), Mohali today.
War driving is more than just a prank that makes your private conversation public.
quot;Some intruders seek to access files and damage systems. Most wireless networks
are completely unsecured. The easiest way to avoid mobile telephone hacking is
encryption but manufacturers of wireless devices leave encryption turned off by
default and give no information to the users about wireless encryption or any other
added security measures. This makes it an easy task for anyone with a wireless
setup to find and exploit the connection,quot;he said.
Talking to a set of IT professionals who had gathered from all over the country to
participate in the skill and technology upgradation seminar held at CDAC today, Dr
Zandu said that for PC users, however, ensuring internet security remained the
quot;Most of the hacking server attacks are from dedicated amateur attackers known as
script kiddies, who, without much knowledge, use tools that are freely available on
the internet to probe networks for weaknesses. These tools scan the internet
randomly looking for vulnerable systems, then exploit any weaknesses they find.
With such tools available, a small anonymous company is potentially as much at
risk as a well-known multinational corporation. Taking sensible precautions in
general, and using up-to-date software in particular, would have easily prevented
the attack,quot; he told The Tribune.