It’s called wardriving. Hackers drive around with laptops or mobile devices and scan for unlocked or unsecured networks. It's a form of drive-by hacking.
What they do is locate and log into a router that is unprotected by a password and gather its network information. Hackers don’t usually jump onboard the network immediately, preferring instead to save the network access information for later backdoor hacks.
Lately a favorite scam involves infiltrating a vulnerable network to steal the victim’s banking login and steal their money.
Broadcasting your network presence
Think of your wifi network as a broadcast beacon with your name on it. It shouts to anyone within receiving range, “Here I am, and here’s my name!” If there is no lock icon preceding your network name (SSID), it adds, “By the way, come on in. My front door is open.”
Securing the door to your personal network
Your network router comes out of the box with default security that is about as insecure as your car’s VIN. If you want to know your home network’s default password, examine the router and look for a “key password.” If you haven’t changed your default user’s credentials, you must reset it immediately. You can do it on line with the help of your service provider.After you have updated your security settings, your network will still be visible, but it will have a lock symbol. By the way, you can conceal the presence of your network to nosey passersby, piggy backers, and war drivers.
Read this article on MakeUseOf.com for details.
War drivers are after your business, too.
If you own a business, hackers are after everything from your financial records to your customer lists—along with their credit card numbers and unprotected personal information. Data breaches can lead to identity theft, financial loss, or even criminal prosecution if someone hijacks your network for illegal activity or the data breach involves compromise of data that, by law, must be protected.Also, any devices your network connects to become new targets for war drivers. Those new targets open other doors and vectors for bots, viruses, and really nasty malware.
Here’s what you can do to increase your network security:
- Secure your network with a strong password. It should be at least 12 characters with a mix of small/capital letters, numbers, and symbols (#,@, etc.).
- Use strong encryption. If your network has been around for a while, you might be using the old WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) protection. Hackers cracked WEP a decade ago. The latest encryption technology uses WPA (Wireless Protected Access) with the advanced standard or WPA2.
- Check whether your network encryption is up to date by opening your network preferences on your computer operating system. Consider upgrading your routers, if necessary. So, you can protect your network from drive-by hackers with strong passwords, the latest encryption standards, and firewalls. If RF security is also one of your concerns, we have many solutions to decrease the chances of data loss through RF.