Home network users are also getting too complacent with their network’s security. Little do they know that even if their Wi-Fi network is password-protected, it can still be easily hacked and accessed by other willing internet users. The result is a number of security risks, such as having their personal usernames, passwords, and even online banking details obtained. For the entrepreneurs who are using VoIP apps like RingCentral as a way of virtually expanding their office, there’s the risk of exposing sensitive data and business contacts. Speed of internet connection also suffers because of other people trying to…that is to say, borrow their internet connection.
Ethical Hacking to Find Security Loopholes
In order to alert internet users (whether they’re corporate users or regular home network subscribers) about security breaches or loopholes in their Wi-Fi networks, computer or network experts are resorting to ethical hacking.
Ethical hacking is the “white hat” hacking of a security system with the owners’ knowledge for the purpose of tracing vulnerabilities that any “black hat”, or malicious hacker, can take advantage of. In other words, it’s the permitted process of checking weaknesses in a security or network system by trying to permeate the system as a real hacker would.
This practice started around the ‘70s when a group dubbed as the red team was used by the US government to test and hack its computer systems. Since then, ethical hacking has become a common practice even in the private and corporate sectors. Companies like IBM have their own teams of ethical hackers.
Ethical Hacking in the Smartphone Age
As the number of smartphone users has increased, so did the number of public Wi-Fi networks. Coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and many other public places are offering free Wi-Fi connection as a means of luring customers in. The problem is, not all public Wi-Fi networks scanned or detected by mobile devices are legit. Some are actually fake networks. People behind such fake Wi-Fi networks only have one goal – to obtain private user information such as usernames, passwords, and bank details.
In addition to this, private Wi-Fi networks are becoming more susceptible to piggybacking, or the use of a Wi-Fi network without the owner’s knowledge or consent. While the idea of piggybacking may mean using another person’s internet connection, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s the involvement of hacking. Hacking another person’s Wi-Fi network to gain internet access, however, has become extremely possible these days.
As already mentioned, many home network users are clueless when it comes to their own network’s security. Thus, Wi-Fi hacking apps on smartphones like those available for Android users are becoming helpful tools to test vulnerabilities in a Wi-Fi network.
Examples of Wi-Fi Hacking Android Apps
If you’re an Android phone user, by simply typing the keyword Wi-Fi hack on the Google Play homepage, you’re given a wide variety of Wi-Fi hacking apps in the search results. Some of them are:
- Wifi Hacker Plus This app lets you decrypt the password of a Wi-Fi network in your area. If you need to know the password or even disable it, this is the app to use.
- Wifi Hacker Real This app can break a WPA, WEP, or WPA2 password. To use, just tap to launch the app, press the rescan button, choose a network, wait for the app to do its work, and the chosen network’s password is revealed.
- Hackers Handbook Pro Its description on Google Play says that the app “is for educational purposes only” and is “designed for security testers”. It’s an app that gives step-by-step instructions on hacking.
Though these apps allow Android phone owners to hack other peoples’ Wi-Fi networks, it’s advised to use them only for testing purposes and not for any malicious activities. Should you want to use any of these apps, inform the owner’s network about it first and show them how vulnerable their network is.
Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. Follow me on Twitter and join me in Google+