Firesheep Menace

Welcome to the new business focused Perfect Notes blog.

Our first post will be to revisit a security issue that’s become public in the last few weeks. Other users can easily take over your Facebook and other accounts just by sitting near you when you access these accounts on public Wi Fi systems. The bit of software used for this takeover is a Firefox browser add on called firesheep.

Perfect Notes IT did some testing on this flaw at a McDonald’s WiFi to gain first hand knowledge of this security exploit. We took over 2 (of our own) Facebook accounts seamlessly in only a couple of minutes. In neither case was there any clue to this take over to the user. One machine was modified in the way most people recommend as being enough to disable the firesheep risk (we reset the machine to force the connection into a secure mode).  Nonetheless it proved possible to take over a Facebook account some of the time just as the connection was made!

The lessons to draw from this are obvious. Don’t trust public WiFi. Be aware of security issues. Don’t believe all you read on FB even when (you think) you know who it comes from.

Perfect Notes IT can help with your security issues. Contact us if you have questions.

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