Unlicensed Wireless: License to Attack?
Warning: Using unlicensed wireless networks could be so damaging to the safety of your data that industry experts are suggesting the need for a Surgeon General-like warning label.Warning: Using unlicensed wireless networks could be so damaging to the safety of your data that industry experts are suggesting the need for a Surgeon General-like warning label. Regulators, private industry and law enforcement widely agree that data networkswireless and wireline alikewill forever be vulnerable to attack. The difference with wireless technology, some in industry say, is that users have no idea just how vulnerable it is. "[Wireless application protocol] protection is virtually useless, and I dont think consumers are aware of it," said Jacob Christfort, chief technology officer and vice president of Product Development at Oracle Corp. Speaking at a forum on unlicensed wireless networks Tuesday, Christfort said he could support regulation requiring network providers to display a cautionary label, such as those shown on alcohol and tobacco products.
As hotspots and other unlicensed wireless technologies proliferate, there are growing threats to data protection from information brokers, industrial spies, and "bad apple" divorce attorneys seeking data on their clients exes, according to Ted Phillip, senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. However, wireless LAN users, often equating wireless access with traditional telephony, can have a false sense of security about the privacy of their information.