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London businesses are improving the security of their wireless networks, but drive-by hacking and information leakage still remains a real concern in the capital.

One in four (25 per cent) of London's Wi-Fi networks are still fundamentally insecure, according to the results of RSA Security's third annual WLAN security survey out today.

Security has improved dramatically with only 34 per cent of 1078 access points surveyed lacking WEP encryption, compared to 63 per cent in 2002. Of these WEP-absent access points, some employ VPN protection while others have MAC Address Screening (802.1X), or other undetectable security methods.

But that still leaves an estimated one in four access points which fail to meet best practice security guidelines. RSA Security reckons these businesses are often at risk simply because they are failing to reconfigure default network settings.

The survey also found the number of wireless networks in London had more than trebled over the past year.

The research, commissioned by RSA Security, and undertaken by independent information security specialist CISSP, quantifies the extent to which companies' wireless networks in London leak data traffic into the street, providing potential access to hackers from their cars or nearby buildings. ®

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