Feeds

Sky Broadband puts the fault into default Wi-Fi security

Users in guess-able random keys quandary

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Sky Broadband advises customers to consider changing their default Wi-Fi passwords - because the apparently random network keys are guess-able.

The ISP issues customers with a wireless router that is pre-configured with wireless security switched on, and an apparently random network key. This sounds like a good plan. However, the key is based on the router's MAC address, which is broadcast "in the clear" - i.e in unencrypted form.

Reg reader James, who brought the issue to our attention, said that getting the MAC address is trivial and working out the algorithm that links it to a network key is "not exactly rocket science".

The security shortcoming affects only Sky Broadband's original router, a rebadged Netgear DG834GT, and applies only where customers keep the default network key. This leaves plenty of scope for problems. "With about a million Sky customers using the original DG834GT router, there's likely to be hundreds of thousands of Sky customers thinking that they're safe, when in fact they are not," James notes.

Sky has not issued a general alert, even though it was informed of the matter a month ago, through its SkyUser community support forum. "Sky offered advice to users on that forum, to either disable wireless networking, or change their wireless password, but they still haven't told their wider customer base about this problem," James said.

In response to our questions, Sky Broadband said users can improve security by changing their default password (as explained here), comparing this, more or less, to adding a lock to an already bolted door.

"A wireless router is great for flexibility and convenience but no one wants to unwittingly share their connection with another user. We pre-configure all our routers with security settings so that customers' bandwidth is protected from day one. Our website offers advice to customers on how to further enhance this level of protection by changing their default password to another of their own choice," a Sky spokeswoman told El Reg. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.