Despite Stronger Wi-Fi Security Eavesdropping Persists

Computer security experts don’t appear to be gaining ground on electronic eavesdroppers in the battle to safeguard wireless Internet connections, the head of Harvard University’s network operations told a nationwide legislative conference Tuesday.

That means investment in public Wi-Fi projects could end up putting masses of sensitive data such as credit card numbers in the wrong hands if public users aren’t educated about the risks of using such networks.

“It’s extremely convenient, but it’s inherently insecure,” Harvard’s Jay Tumas told state government information technology specialists at a National Conference of State Legislatures session on Wi-Fi risks. “If you don’t protect your network, then public Wi-Fi is just one big security risk.”

“Be scared … Don’t do your banking from Starbucks,” David LaPorte, another Harvard computer security expert, told the group, referring to the wireless connections available at the coffee shop chain.
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