Using Wifi: how vulnerable are our devices?

 We are constantly using this technology, but how do we protect ourselves from the risks?

Using Wifi: how vulnerable are our devices?

It is increasingly common for people to connect to the Internet via wifi, either through the service acquired in their homes, work or in many cases, in a public network of a cafe or shopping center. Although there are increasingly better methods to encrypt and protect the information within the devices and when traveling through a telecommunication medium, either guided (different types of cables) or unguided (the air), also continuously improve the capabilities of people who are dedicated to finding weaknesses in the devices and connections to spy, steal or damage information (Hackers), as well as gaps remain with respect to security standards and protocols implemented in technologies such as wifi.

Nitay Artenstein, an Exodus Intelligence researcher, recently found a vulnerability in Broadcom's wifi chips used by most cell phones. This gap in the security of devices being connected by wifi could be exploited by Hackers to obtain data of credit cards, passwords, photos, messages, etc. The attacker only need to be within connection range. Previously, there have been found conditions in the protocols and standards of the Wifi technology, which made possible the intervention of some Hacker in a connection of our device with the Internet, even without being connected to a specific network, simply by having the wifi turned on. For this reason, Google and Apple distributed as soon as possible the necessary updates to protect the devices from any attack.

Although the Android operating system has established as the most used in mobile devices from different manufacturers, it is also the most susceptible to external attacks since it is based on the Linux open source system. For this reason, users of this operating system must take special care to keep their device updated and use wifi networks with caution.

There is no doubt that as technology advances, we can enjoy the best work tools and entertainment resources, but we must consider the security measures necessary to avoid compromising personal, work or family information. In Latin America, this awareness of the use of devices and technologies has not been cultivated in a cautious way. For this reason, it is important to consider the subject at an informative level so that people take the necessary precautions.

Among the main precautionary measures that should be considered is to avoid connecting through wifi at any point of public access such as those present in shopping centers, parks, stores, etc. In addition, you must keep the devices with the latest updates and try to navigate on pages that use HTTPS (encrypted navigation).

Although the vulnerabilities that have been found have been resolved, users must maintain caution when using various technologies such as wifi to avoid compromising the security of their devices, the information they contain and the data they transmit through from Internet. 

Understanding the basic aspects of the operation of our devices, the operating systems they implement, and technologies such as wifi is a necesity in terms of security and good use of technologies.


Latin American Post | Luis Chacón

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda

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