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Breaking Wifi: How Hackers Do It

  • Introduction

Hackers are good at many things, but one thing that gets them all excited is a coffee shop full of people using the free wifi provided by the establishment. Wifi networks that are out ni the public are barely protected. They have a considerable amount of free traffic simply floating in the air and waiting for the hacker to sniff out the essential bits that will enable them to steal your browser cache and impersonate your digital identity. Whenever hackers find open wifi networks full of users, they have a field day and get as much personal information about the people as possible. Hacking wifi is what a hacker will spend an entire coffee on, but once they are inside the network, the amount of information they will have access to will be much more critical than the buck they spent on the coffee. Breaking wifi might sound impossible to a typical internet user who gets turned off by the lock sign on secured wifi networks.

Usually, someone looking for wifi networks in their area will be disappointed when there is no open network to access for a while. However, hackers are not scared by the lock sign on the secured wifi networks and take it as an opportunity and a challenge to break into information systems with higher levels of security. Hackers will take on the challenge, and in just a few minutes, they will have gotten the password to the wifi network thanks to the people already logged into the network. As such, they will be using the wifi for free while you have to buy a coffee to catch up on the latest events and happenings in your digital world. Wifi networks are secure, but they can also be broken. Hackers have the experience and familiarity with network protocols to easily break your network and get to the information you have been working so hard to keep safe and secure from all kinds of digital threats in cyberspace. Whenever you are at a coffee shop and are using the network with the password you had to buy a coffee for, the hacker will simply sniff your network traffic to steal your passwords and use the same network without even having to buy a coffee. This post will look at how a typical hacker would break into a secure wifi network and use the network for free.

  • Breaking WiFi

Whenever you are connecting to a secure wifi network, you will usually be needed to have a security token or a digital key that you will use. Your establishment will usually provide this, and the management will ensure you buy a coffee or a beer to access the network. The security key will ensure that your network access is secure and that no unauthorized users will be allowed access to the same network without having a token or a security key.

A hacker will need secure traffic from the people who have already purchased a beer or a coffee at the establishment. When they have access to a sniff of these precious bytes, they will simply reverse engineer the traffic to impersonate legitimate users of the network and use the information to access the network without using a password in the first place. When authorized users make use of the network, there will be wireless traffic that will still be floating in the air, and this is what the hackers will need to use the wireless network for free. They will attempt intercepting the traffic and replay it to the router or network access point. When they have done this, your network will be duped into believing that your network is being legally accessed, and as such, it will not block or prevent your hacker from using the network and other resources connected to the router. In addition to data replay attacks, the hacker might try to reverse the packets being moved between the two parties connected to the wireless network and use it to access the network without knowing the password. In addition, the hackers will also use the network traffic to become part of the traffic, and your router will not even know the spoofing that is in progress. Any hacker that knows about network and traffic spoofing will also use their skills to trick the router into believing they are someone else. For instance, thanks to the beer you purchased, your connection to the wireless network will mean you have legitimate traffic. If the hacker can steal your digital identity, they can easily pretend to be legitimate network users and even impersonate you.

  • Securing WiFi

Wifi is secure, but the standards are still a challenge for hackers who will hesitate at nothing to try and break the security measures and protocols you have in place. Strong passwords are valid for wireless networks, but authentication has a time aspect that can ensure that your tokens are not used for more than is necessary. If you use authentication tokens to secure your wireless networks, you also need to ensure that these tokens have an expiry beyond which they will no longer be usable. This is useful and will ensure that hackers do not have any more access to your wifi than legitimate customers who have bought coffees get. Hackers will not stop even when you have these measures in place, but expiring tokens will be a good measure to keep them out and away from your precious digital resources. Firewalls are also good protection for wifi networks. Installing them at the router will be crucial to keeping your network safe and secure from all kinds of attacks and used only by legitimate users.

black and white remote control
Photo by Sten Ritterfeld on Unsplash
  • Conclusion

Hackers love challenges, and their strong-headed nature makes them seem like a delinquent that is difficult to correct or keep in line. They are also reckless and have no regard for digital security measures. Whenever you secure your network with firewalls and use tokens that expire for public establishments, you will easily keep the hackers out of your network and away from your precious digital resources and information systems. Security for your digital systems and information starts with the proper habits, and tokens and firewalls are only a start. We will delve into more security measures in time. Hopefully, you will visit to get fresh information and updates that will keep you patched up and undeterred by hackers and other digital threats to your information. Stay safe and keep the hackers from using your establishment’s wifi for free.