Wireless hacking threat grows

Tuesday, 26 November 2002, 2:29 PM EST

The growing popularity of wireless technology is opening corporate networks to hackers as administrators face a trade-off between security and demand for easy access.

Companies are rolling out wireless networks because they are cheaper and more flexible than cable, but the nature of wireless and lack of strong encryption technologies means they are vulnerable to attack.

While warchalking - marking of pavements to indicate a wireless access point, or hotspot - was not yet common here, two types of people were taking note, VeriSign enterprise consultant Richard Miller said.

Some were looking for free wireless access to the internet. But others were seeking useful information on corporate networks they entered.

Pressure to provide wide-ranging access to users meant some wireless networks were operating in default mode - either deliberately or inadvertently.

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