WiFi piggybackers on the rise

Reports of internet users piggybacking on WiFi connections in Saudi Arabia

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 7, 2008

Reports of people ‘piggybacking’ on wireless connections in Saudi Arabia have highlighted the lack of security that prevails in the region’s private networks.

According to Arab News, many internet subscribers in Saudi Arabia don’t know how to secure their network, which would deter anyone trying to use their connection without the right network key or password.

The easy availability of a new signal boosting WiFi adapter, which costs close to SR 200, has been attributed as the reason behind the dramatic rise in internet freeloaders.

Sayed Jawed, retail territory manager for Middle East & Pakistan told itp.net that the issue is not limited to just Saudi Arabia. “This is a common scenario in Middle East and throughout the world. Internet freeloaders do use signal boosting WIFI adaptors with their mobile devices (laptops etc) to get on unsecured broadband wireless network to surf the net and also to hack into the unsecured systems for data robbing and virus uploads.”

“It can happen with any brand of wireless routers or devices that’s not been secured by the user”. In an effort to curb piggybacking, Jawed added that “all Linksys devices have a built-in security setup that secures an individual or SOHO network from outside hacking. These include WEP, WPA , WPA2 Personal, Enterprise Security and Mac address filtering.” Internet subscribers should contact their service providers for assistance on security vulnerabilities and support.

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