Does using a Wi-Fi increase the chances of you being hacked?

Today, I was at my dad’s office and interestingly the Wi-Fi locator on his notebook flashed a new network – ‘Hari Om’ it showed the holly network as unsecured! My curiosity got the better of me and I instantly double clicked and Wolla! It was connected with a signal strength of 80%.

Although, I wasn’t hopping of any miracles but Firefox opened the default Google homepage and before I knew it internet was working on my laptop. I figured,”Essentially, I’d hacked into his Wi-Fi. Cool huh?”  His net connection was at my mercy. I could do anything, send emails to anybody and walk off without being traced.


The point is, did I HACK his Wi-Fi or did he let his Wi-Fi get HACKED due to his own foolishness?

What do you do with people who out of their own ignorance or complacency choose not to secure their own networks and cry fowl when somebody a little smarter gets the better of them. Is this hacking?

Enabling WEP security is the least one can do. How hard is it to set an encrypted key once and note it down in your cell. I know people who blame technology when they themselves are oblivious to their own ignorance. Your own system is the first line of defense and acts like a sitting duck if not secured properly.

Coming back to the ‘Hari Om’ network. I opened up Firefox and punched in : It prompted for a username password. I ‘hacked’ that too. Wish to know how? Simple enough. It was what 80% people have, their default credentials :

Username : admin
Passswors :admin

Then, it didn’t take much time for me to figure out his ISP – MTNL, the IP Address, his phone number (from the username), the plan he was using (using Getting the password out of those *****(Astrix) was a simple task. There are many free tools available on the net which let you show the hidden password in the active window.

So, now you tell me. Is this what you call HACKING? I guess, if you take care to secure your own network by following simple methods. It would take some serious hacking skills to get to the heart of your router. Keeping your WiFi open is like suicide. Just the same as keeping the door unlocked at night.

If everyday, you can lock your doors before saying goodnight , is setting a one-time WEP key too much to ask for?


Harsh Agrawal April 23, 2009

The sad thing here is most of the users keep default password for WI-FI
though FYI using open WI-fi can sometime cost you your password.
So it’s better to avoid it.

Rahul April 23, 2009

i get more virus attack from wifi rather than my reliance net connect.
hence wifi is 100% unsecured if you dont have good antivirus.

Gautam April 23, 2009

I am current on a wi-fi network which gives me upto 300kb download speed. I am talking of download speed. While my own net gives me download speed of only 30 kbps 😛

Swati April 23, 2009

A very well written post, Vaibhav.
“Keeping your WiFi open is like suicide” — Now that’s something I will always remember 🙂

Vaibhav Kanwal April 23, 2009


I also have Reliance Net Connect. Its a dial-up and gives pathetic speeds only useful for checking email.
Anyways, using an antivirus has got nothing to do with Wi-Fi. Rather, using a good updated antivirus is essential for any computer which logs on to the internet.

Wifi should be used only with WEP encryption. Try switching over from Open network to security enabled and you should see the difference

Vaibhav Kanwal April 23, 2009

Thats exactly the point that I’m trying to make. Although, you wont use it for wrong things ( I hope). The WiFi you use can be used by other people. Think about it. They dont even need to go to the cyber cafe.

Just come in the range and send a terror threat to Mr.Manmohan Singh. The owner wont even be aware till the time he gets inflated bills. If the nets on an unlimited connection : God save us

Thanks. Now you are better informed.

Rahul April 24, 2009

ya vaibhav
i always use updated antivirus because spyware and malware comes from wifi.
reliance is pathetic .right now i am in chennai..where it sucks.

in my home town i get superb speed from this data card.

Clark August 5, 2010

The problem is not unsecured WiFi, it is a lack of integrity within individuals, that includes every individual. Honor, trust, truth, reliability, compassion, are missing. Security will never be gained by locking ones self up in a cell, no matter how deep or solid. The solutions begins within, or no where at all.