Wireless Security Breach: Reaver

Facebook logo Twitter logo

Having wireless internet access is awesome, especially with how many devices these days use the technology. And with proper network security, we can be sure that al our data is safe from intrusion…as long as we don’t make any silly mistakes, right? Well, that would be nice. However, there is a new piece of software in distribution that makes it easy for anyone with the know-how to crack into your wireless network. It’s called “Reaver” and it’s available to anyone online. Now don’t worry too much just yet – most people using it are just going to use it to try and get free internet access where they’re not supposed to have it. But this can cause slowdowns on your network or, if you have sensitive files, can be a possible bigger problem.

Reaver works by exploiting a flaw in your wireless router. The flaw was originally designed simply to make setup easier for the end user – you. However, it can be exploited by someone using this tool to gain your wireless password, which gives them access to your internet just like another one of your computers. You might not even be able to tell. This flaw is called WPS, and even if you turn the feature off, the program can still use it when you can’t.

our nerds know how to provide you with wireless security!

So how do you protect against these attacks? Well here’s the worst part of all this (I promise it’s the worst part.) You can’t…yet. Stay tuned in the future for updates, as there will no doubt be some new solution, but for now there’s just one piece of advice that can never be repeated too much:

Use a secure password. The way the program works makes it harder to determine your password the more complicated it is. As we’ve written about in previous articles, there’s an easy way to come up with a secure password: use a phrase that has significance to you but to no one else. For instance: andreacollectspetrocks. This way you’ll have a password that will take so long for the computer to guess that it will eventually give up. Stay current on updates if you’re concerned further about this issue!

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.