There's a story on Norton's Cybercrime News about a man in Buffalo, NY who found himself facing potential charges for unlawful photographic images. The charges were dropped after it was discovered that he had not secured his wireless router, allowing someone else to use the connection to download thousands of illegal images.
Many homes and businesses across the country have found their wireless connections hijacked and used to download pirated movies, music and other crimes over the web.
"Your wireless footprint goes far beyond your walls, into the streets and into neighboring buildings," says Matt Malone, a security expert who works with Vintage IT Services (www.VintageITS.com), based in Austin, Texas. "There are people making a hobby of identifying and/or hacking the wireless connections of unsecured routers," says Malone. They then map the locations on websites for others to find them.
This especially holds true for many small and medium sized businesses. If you let your guard down with your computer security, a criminal can take advantage of your unsecured connection to conduct illegal activity using your wireless. When the FBI comes looking, they're going to look at you first.
Password-protecting your wireless router to secure your Wi-Fi connection can seem like a hassle. Why would anyone bother hacking your connection? "When you say, 'Who would want to hack me?' the answer is 'Millions,'" explains Malone. Bad guys know the default passwords that come with wireless routers.
We recommend you change your wireless security to WPA or WPA2, more secure forms of encryption. It is worth the effort to protect your online confidential information.
This article appeared on the Norton website at http://cybercrimenews.norton.com/articles/unsecured_router/index.html
and was written by Kim Boatman, a journalist who writes about online security. She interviewed Matt Malone from Vintage IT Services to provide content from a technical standpoint. If you have questions, or would like to find out if your company qualifies for a site audit at no charge, please contact me or Matt at 512-481-1117.