How Those Pesky Crooks Steal Your Wi-Fi

Hackers are aware of how to decrypt your Wi-Fi password. Here’s why they’re trying to hack your password and how you can stop them.

You’ve probably heard the advice for years: securing your home network with robust Wi-Fi security and a password is vital.

Neighbors and other outsiders can not only steal your Wi-Fi – a service you most likely pay for - but they may also gain access to shared files and other resources on your network if you don’t have sufficient protection.

If a hacker obtains your Wi-Fi network’s password, they may utilize your internet connection to do anything they want. This might vary from streaming videos and downloading files to engaging in criminal behavior (slowing down your connection).

Crooks are aware of how to decrypt your Wi-Fi password. Here’s how some crooks could try to get into your Wi-Fi network, how they might hack your password, and what they might do with it.

Sniffing

Hackers can access a public Wi-Fi network and penetrate connected devices to collect data in various methods. Sniffing is the most prevalent technique used by hackers. Hackers can use this approach to intercept any packet of data sent between a device and a router.

Once the packet has been intercepted, the hacker copies it to their device and attempts to decode it using brute force tools. There is a plethora of software accessible on the internet that makes sniffing a breeze.

Sniffing a packet and decoding it into meaningful information is a fast operation that takes approximately 10 minutes on average. However, if the hijacked packet is extensively encrypted, it may take many days to be decrypted, but it will be deciphered eventually.

Spoofing

You may have observed that your smartphone or laptop reconnects automatically to networks it has previously connected. Our gadgets can remember past connection records and aid us in automatically establishing the connection. This function, which is meant to make life easier for consumers, may be used by hackers in a clever yet accessible way.

All a hacker needs to do is create a new network with stronger signals in order to hack devices via spoofing. He’ll have to use the same SSID as the legitimate router as well. This allows the hacker to monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic by automatically connecting devices and computers to the new set-up Wi-Fi network.

Wardriving

Wardriving, aka access point mapping, exploits & identifies wireless local networks while driving. Hackers accomplish this by transporting a laptop, a wireless Ethernet card, and an antenna to enhance signal strength.

Corporate wireless networks, in most situations, transmit signals not only within the workplace but also in the surrounding region. Hackers can pick up on these signals and utilize them to get into an organization’s network.

Cracking Encryption

Routers encrypt every data they send and decode it when they receive it using the decryption key. Most Wi-Fi routers now offer three primary security methods for protecting wireless networks: WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access), and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access2) (Wi-Fi Protected Access II).

WEP and WPA are two fundamental methods for encrypting your wireless connection, but they both have flaws that hackers may readily exploit.

How To Prevent Hackers From Using Your Wi-Fi

If you haven’t changed your router’s default password yet, a hacker can easily find it. Make your new password long and hard to hack!

If you have friends over that want to jump on your Wi-Fi set up a “guest network” on your router. Most current routers offer this simple solution. You can reset the guest password every so often to ensure nobody dips off it… plus you won’t have to update all your multiple devices.

Don’t Broadcast Your Router Details

While you are in your router settings, you should change your service set identifier (SSID). This is the name of your network that the world can see when scanning devices; it is common by default to show your manufacturer’s router name. If there is not SSID to broadcast, it will make it difficult for a hacker to get on your netowork.

Update Your Firmware

Lastly, check for firmware updates every few months to bring your router up to date, security patches are often released to harden your network.

Looking to increase the speed on your network? Check out these 10 Tips to make your network run faster.