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BT Wireless Users At Risk From Hackers

BT's wireless home hub is an easy target for hackers and that's something which has been clamoured for quite some time already by security experts much to the embarrassment of the telecom company.

Talking to The Daily Telegraph, Paul Vlissidis, technical director of IT consultancy NCC Group, said underground application could crack the Home Hub system in a matter of seconds and although BT said that this is only theoretical, it has yet to warn its 4.4 million customers about how to improve their hub's security, especially if their boxes are prior to version 1.5.

Part of the problem, it is understood, comes from the fact that the encryption used by the BT Home hub is a Wired equivalent privacy one rather than the more powerful Wi-Fi protected access version.

A weak encryption means that it is much easier to guess the right password and gain access to the the hub; NCC experts took control of a dummy router in just five minutes.

Back in April 2008, a group of ethical hackers managed to reverse engineer the WEP/WPA key algorithm used in Thomson routers, which are popular amongst many Internet Service Providers, including BT's Broadband division.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.