Wi-Fi security software can’t stop passive attacks

Several months ago, WBNS-TV (Channel 10) set up an experiment at Cafe Brioso, 14 E. Gay St., to determine how easy it is intercept the information that Wi-Fi users send and receive.

Those who took part in the test found out that digital-security experts armed with laptops and readily available software had no trouble eavesdropping on their transactions.

As the public’s awareness of such breaches has grown, so has the popularity of Internet-security software packages promising wide-ranging protection against viruses, spyware, hackers and spam.

Companies such as McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro offer scores of security solutions and services. Overall, security-software sales topped $9.1 billion in 2007, up almost 11 percent from a year earlier.

Do such products make Wi-Fi users any safer?

To find out, WBNS went back to Cafe Brioso. This time, the guinea pig was Bill Watson of Pataskala.
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