Incidence of Wi-Fi hacking on the rise: What can you do?

Muscat - 

Your home Wi-Fi connection gets slow and buffering is almost impossible. Although your bills are paid on time and not many people at home use the Internet, yet for some strange and unknown reason the connection is exceptionally slow. 

Sounds familiar? You may be the subject of a new technology crime in the city - Wi-Fi hacking.

Such incidents are rampant in most parts of Muscat including in buildings and villas in Seeb, Qurm and Al Khuwayr.

Wi-Fi hacking box

A resident of Tilal Complex at Muscat Grand Mall, said, “I have seen many cleaners and random people standing next to our flat and checking their mobiles. Though they look very innocent and harmless, I find them almost every day standing there for long hours. And yes my home Internet gets slow. I can find some connection between the two but I cannot charge them as I have no clue what they are up to.”

Using applications, that are easily available and free on the Internet and mobile application stores, one can easily hack the home Wi-Fi and access the Internet at will.

Explaining the issue, Tariq al Barwani, an IT expert and an ethical hacker, said, “Hacking or attempting to crack someone else’s Wi-Fi connection without permission is a criminal offence. The device (mobile, laptop, tablet) can be connected through the technology in the router called WPS which stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup. The WPS is a router functionality that connects the Wi-Fi enabled device to the router easily without the need of a username and password.

“All that a user needs to have is a Wi-Fi enabled device with the WPS technology feature, which most devices today have. It can be operated and connected by pressing the WPS button on the router and then on those devices or keying in the default WPS PIN of the router using the Wi-Fi enabled device. WPS automatically sends the network password, and these devices remember it for future use.”

The solution to this is to disable the WPS functionality from the control panel.

"Every router has an administrative panel which allows you to change the configuration of the router and through which you can disable the WPS.”

You can check a video on this report at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnrJa_eqowo&feature=youtu.be 

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