Over the past few years Wi-Fi or Wireless has boomed in popularity, it is almost unheard of for a consumer ADSL/router to come without Wi-Fi built in. In the early days of Wi-Fi it was not uncommon to be able to access someone’s wireless router due to no security being implemented on them. Most non techie people were completely unaware of wireless security and encryption, and over the recent years many people have become more educated and implemented the security that is built into wireless routers.

The most common security people have implemented on their wireless router is Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WEP encrypts data flying back and forth between a computer and an access point to stop people spotting and stealing confidential information. Every computer on the wireless network must use an encryption key to be able to communicate with the wireless router.

While this does provide an increased level of protection compared to no encryption, WEP is fundamentally flawed. It is possible to crack the encryption key on WEP in a matter of minutes using some basic tools freely available on the internet. While these cracking techniques are being reported recently in the press and various websites, including the BBC News website, these cracking techniques have actually been used since 2001.

It is highly recommended that anyone using a Wi-FI network should implement the Wi-fi Protected Access (WPA) or WPA2 security over WEP. WPA can still be cracked however it is possible to make the crack unfeasible by using long alphanumeric keys.

While most home users may not have much of an issue with people cracking their WEP key we would suggest that is paramount that all businesses small or large implement more secure systems. IF you are an SME and are not aware what security is implemented or have no idea how to implement it then we would recommend you contact us or any computer expert to help you implement the wireless security.