Feeds

Sky Broadband puts the fault into default Wi-Fi security

Users in guess-able random keys quandary

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.