Kaspersky Lab Reports Large Proportion Of Wireless Internet Access In Uk Homes Is Not Safe From Attack

11 Jul 2008
Virus News

Kaspersky Lab, a leading provider of security solutions that protect against viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, crimeware, rootkits, phishing, hacker attacks and spam, today reports that a large proportion of UK homes with wireless Internet access do not have adequate protection. The results of the Kaspersky Lab Wireless Internet Access Survey states that while 57% of UK homes are wirelessly enabled, only 35% of respondents have taken adequate measures to secure their wireless router.

Senior Technology Consultant at Kaspersky Lab, David Emm comments, “You would not leave your windows and doors unlocked when you go out for fear of being burgled, but by failing to adequately protect yourself when using wireless Internet access you are doing just that. An opportunist could potentially intercept any data you send and receive, get access to your wireless network and hijack your Internet access.”

Kaspersky Lab advises that there are five simple steps that can be taken to secure the wireless router for worry-free home computing:

  1. Change the administrator password for the wireless router. Just 19% of respondents had taken this basic precaution, despite the ease at which a hacker is able to find out the manufacturer’s default password and use this to access the wireless network.
  2. Avoid using a password that can be guessed easily.
  3. Enable encryption: WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption is best, if the device supports it. If not WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) should be used. The survey revealed that 11% had the preferred WPA, 18% had WEP, only 6% had WPA2 and 22% did not know what encryption setting they had.
  4. Switch off SSID (Service Set Identifier) broadcasting. This prevents the wireless device announcing its presence to the world. Only 4% of respondents to the survey had SSID switched off.
  5. Change the default SSID name of the device. It’s easy for a hacker to find out the manufacturer’s default name and use this to locate your wireless network. Avoid using a name that can be guessed easily: follow the guidelines provided in the section below on choosing a password.

Emm continues “Furthermore, you may have protected your wireless network at home, but if you use your laptop to access the Internet in a wireless hotspot located in hotel, airport or cafe for example, you cannot be sure of the same level of security. Best practice for all home PC and laptop users is to follow the five steps and implement an all-in-one security solution including a two-way firewall.”

Launched on 1st July 2008, Kaspersky® Internet Security 2009 software responds to an unprecedented growth in the number and sophistication of computer threats. Today’s threats replace traditional viruses with crimeware: malicious programs used by criminals to harvest your confidential data and make money illegally. Kaspersky® Internet Security 2009 not only deals with threats, but actually prevents threats from ever occurring. New functions including the Virtual Keyboard ensure that Trojans, keyloggers and backdoors cannot gain access to confidential bankcard and online password details.

More hints, tips and advice for the home Internet user are available in the Kaspersky Lab Stay Safe Online Guide. To download the free guide please visit: http://uk.kaspersky-labs.com/referee/.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab delivers the world’s most immediate protection against IT security threats, including viruses, spyware, crimeware, hackers, phishing, and spam. Kaspersky Lab products provide superior detection rates and the industry’s fastest outbreak response time for home users, SMBs, large enterprises and the mobile computing environment. Kaspersky® technology is also used worldwide inside the products and services of the industry’s leading IT security solution providers. For more information, visit www.kaspersky.co.uk. For the latest malware news, go to www.viruslist.com.

Editor’s Contacts:
For more information, review copies and interviews, please contact MCC International:
Graham Thatcher / Spencer Butt
Phone: 01962 888100
Email: kasperskylabukpr@mccint.com
Press release blog: www.mccint.com/blog

Corporate Contact:
Kerstin Reiners
Kaspersky Lab UK
Phone: 0871 789 1634
Email: Kerstin.Reiners@kasperskylab.co.uk