Most if not all households or companies with WiFi installed be it ADSL or Fiber make use of security keys to prevent unauthorized users from consuming their data and congesting their bandwidth.
This method for most of the part is holding up fine. However technology is ever advancing and the older the tech you are using, the more vulnerable you are.
A good deal of WiFi routers are employing a very vulnerable security algorithm in the form of WEP. It comes as a default in most WiFi routers and is relatively easy to breach from a simple Android application.
How WEP is vulnerable is that, the algorithm it uses generates results from running an EXCLUSIVE OR calculation on a key-stream (a string of random numbers generated by RC4 algorithm) and the plain text password that you would have used to secure the router.
The problem is this key-stream is after a while predictable that is it can loop back and repeat the same sequence of random numbers allowing one to easily decipher the key after a bit of trial and error.
Now applications have been developed for the purpose of ‘ethical hacking’ that is hacking for purposes of testing robustness of a system. These applications already have algorithms to decrypt this key and in some cases in a matter of second.
However there are newer versions of security algorithms that can be employed to better secure your WiFi network. Here are a couple of them in order from best to worst.
- WPA2 + AES
- WPA + AES
- WPA + TKIP/AES
- WPA + TKIP
If you feel like testing your home or office WiFi for vulnerability you can download the app WPA WPS Tester on your Android device. If you have an old router it might be time to upgrade.