The PRIVATE WiFi Blog

Search By Topic:

Popular Topics:



PRIVATE WiFi

The PRIVATE WiFi Blog

News & Features | Jun 10th, 2011

FaceNiff Brings the Security Risks of Firesheep to the Mobile World: The Social Media Privacy Report  

Jillian Ryan

Last October privacy and security technology experts were buzzing about the launch of Firesheep, a Firefox extension that gave hackers the ability to easily hijack unencrypted Facebook, Twitter, and even Amazon credentials from other users on the same wifi network. The same individuals who were concerned about Firesheep are probably just as scared about FaceNiff, an Android application that launched last week from Polish developer Bartosz Ponurkiewicz.

Security researcher 'Ms. Smith' on NetworkWorld, calls the app a “wicked mobile cousin of Firesheep.” With a rooted Android phone, a user can run FaceNiff to sniff and intercept web session profiles over wifi connections to hijack credentials from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other services.

Now a hacker doesn’t even have to go through the hassle of opening a laptop, as was required with Firesheep; he can simply use his mobile device. Using the application is as straightforward as sending a text message from your Android phone. Check out this video to see the app in action.

So not only does FaceNiff bring the security implications of Firesheep to the more accessible mobile sphere, but it also goes one step further.  With Firesheep, if a user is on a password-protected WEP, WPA or WPA2 secured WiFi network, he cannot be hijacked. But with FaceNiff it doesn’t matter; all networks – secured or unsecured – are vulnerable to attack.

Protect Yourself From FaceNiff

Many technology and security experts are concerned and strongly encourage users to connect to WiFi networks with caution. Rosa Golijan from MSNBC’s GadgetBox asks her readers, “Do you trust whoever set up the network you're logging on to? Do you even know who runs it? Think twice about using free public networks.”

But if you find yourself on a network and you doubt its security, Mashable recommends using HTTPS for an extra level of protection.  However, as PRIVATE WiFi™ has reported in the past, while HTTPS is better than HTTP it is still vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

Thus, we recommend, just as Mobile Magazine, to protect yourself with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like PRIVATE WiFi to encrypt your online traffic. That makes your logins and your Internet communication  invisible to sidejackers and hackers, even when using vulnerable websites. If the user in the above video would have been running PRIVATE WiFi on his computer, FaceNiff would have never detected him!

Does the idea of FaceNiff being able to hijack your log-in credentials leave you feeling vulnerable? Would you download PRIVATE WiFi to guarantee your privacy and security on the internet?

Associated Topics:

Associated Topics:

Comments

Related Posts

Cyber Security Training Just As Important at C-Level

Thought Leadership
Eva Velasquez | Mar 24th, 2015

The need for better online safety training to prevent data breaches is a hot topic right now. Coupled with stronger computer and network policies, companies want to prevent the hacking events that leave businesses susceptible to a data breach. While it’s no secret that employees in both the private sector and government service can unintentionally expose organizations to hackers, what is surprising is a report by Wombat Security that shows that 33% of CEOs fell for phishing attacks that led to network access. Why are they falling for this kind of internet activity? Read More

FTC Says Hotel WiFi is Dangerous

Thought Leadership
Kent Lawson | Feb 23rd, 2015

Recently, the FTC posted an article on their website stating that hotel WiFi is dangerous and that users should not assume that just because they pay for Internet access that their connection is secure.

We couldn’t agree more. In fact, I have been stating this fact since we launched PRIVATE WiFi nearly five years ago.  This is an important topic because hotel traveler’s rank WiFi access at hotels as the number one amenity that they look for when booking hotel rooms. Read More

How Are You Celebrating Safer Internet Day 2015?

News & Features
Jared Howe | Feb 9th, 2015

Safer Internet Day (SID), which falls on February 10th this year, helps promote safe and more responsible use of technology and mobile phones, especially for young children and teenagers.  This day of awareness and education gets more important every year because, for better or worse, the Internet is a part of our everyday lives.

Read on to get more involved. Read More

Managing BYOD Security Threats: VPNs Mitigate The Risks

Thought Leadership
Kent Lawson | Jan 28th, 2015

It’s clear that the era of BYOD is here to stay. Workers are no longer confined to an office desk and computer, and instead are able to do work from anywhere: home, their local coffee shop, and while taking public transportation. The proliferation of public wireless networks has made this possible, and while this has freed employees up to do work from nearly everywhere, it also has introduced many security challenges. Read More

X

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletters

Your email has been added to our system. You will be e-mailed shortly with a request to confirm your membership. Please make sure to click the link in that message to confirm your subscription.