advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Still More Of The Dumbest Wireless Security Errors

Written by Frank Hayes
August 26th, 2010

Wireless security isn’t really a contradiction in terms. But you wouldn’t always know that from the ridiculous things some retailers have done when deploying wireless networks. Still, retailers aren’t alone when it comes to being foolish or careless with Wi-Fi. Wireless security insanity goes well beyond traditional product movers.

And this week’s StorefrontBacktalk podcast on security looks at the most absurd wireless security failures outside of retail. There’s the pro sports team that kept all its wireless access points in default mode, with no encryption at all, and believed that approach was safe because the payment-card data itself was encrypted. And then there is the cruise line with wide-open Wi-Fi on its dock, taking passenger card numbers along with names and addresses on unsecured wireless because encryption was just too difficult to manage.

There’s also the hotel chain that first learned about its wireless problem when one departing guest said he was very happy with the Wi-Fi offering. “As he was checking out, he mentioned to the desk clerk, ‘Hey, I stay here all the time and I’m glad to see you guys have finally put in wireless hotspots,'” said one wireless security auditor. “She told the manager, ‘This person’s using our hotspot, which we know we don’t have.'”

But a professional scan of the airspace turned up a wireless hotspot advertising itself right in the hotel lobby, asking for credit card information and room number and offering 24 hours of Wi-Fi. Where was it coming from? Tracking it down wasn’t all that difficult. “There was an apartment building directly across the street from the hotel,” the auditor said. “They actually traced it to a specific room, knocked on the door, and the gentleman who answered said, ‘Oh yeah, I’m providing a hotspot.'”

To listen to the second of two StorefrontBacktalk podcasts on worst practices in wireless security, please click here.


advertisement

Comments are closed.

Newsletters

StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!
advertisement

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

StorefrontBacktalk
Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.