Mumbai Wireless networks are unsecure : KPMG

No baseline security for Wi-fi networks like encryption mechanisms, passwords


Geetanjali Minhas | May 26, 2010

The findings of a survey by KPMG on the launch of cyber safety week by the Mumbai police were alarming to say the least. The survey has been conducted to identify security risks in a wireless network environment in Mumbai.

As per the findings of the survey a large number of wireless networks in Mumbai have no or limited protection and therefore vulnerable.  The survey pointed out that many of the Wi-Fi networks do not have baseline security measures implemented such as changing default manufacturer device name, use of strong encryption mechanisms and passwords etc.

The survey conducted on 28000 wireless networks revealed, approximately 9500 (34%) networks had no or limited protection and 4700 out of these had zero protection. Around 5000 wireless networks had default name settings making them vulnerable to hackers . Approx 2900 (60%) of total business networks have either no or limited protection and 1600 of these networks have zero protection. Amongst the home wireless networks,  4900 ( 48%) have either no or limited protection with 1700 of these networks having zero protection.

Addressing IT professionals and  Senior Police Officers , Home Minister R R Patil emphasized on the need for updated technology and a young police force  to combat  cyber crime. “the government will ensure that cyber connectivity reaches all corners of the state but a system of lodging complaints  through e mails  needs to be established as soon as possible.  “ Patil said.   

Reiterating that Mumbai is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, Mumbai Police Commissioner,D Sivanandhan said that  cyber attacks are not alien anymore . Terrorists have used technology as a tactical tool. “Every chain is as strong as the weakest link and the next world war will be fought using the mouse and not guns” Sivananhan  said.

Noted  IT expert ,Vijay Mukhi, pointed “ in the last two years the number of wi fi networks have grown  5.5  times and in terms if wi- fi Mumbai is the safest city in the world.”

DGP Maharashtra , Anami Roy, said , “A cyber animal, Trojan and horse can do more damage than a conventional human spy as cyber space is highly vulnerable. The police are not an expert on it and not providing solution to any problems rather they are being catalysts and waving the red flag.” Roy said   he was  confident  that UID will plug many holes in the in the police, security and cyber safety perspective.

Chandra Iyengar, Additional Chief Secretary, Home , Maharashtra,  stressed on the need to focus on legal structuring to help police nab cyber crime. “Our concerns are  national security issues  which are restricted by geography, boundary, legislatures,  acts of parliament and the state There are enormous contradictions that need to be addressed.” she said.

The cyber safety week will sensitize  citizens  to keeping children e-safe; knowing one's online friends and enemies; updating Web browsers and operating systems; securing  computer networks and wireless networks; backing-up important files for disaster recovery; using strong passwords and securing financial sites; and realizing the steps to be taken if things still go wrong.



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