The arrival of cloud-based computing, which facilitates online file storage demonstrates continuous advancements in the field of computer technology. Users can store and create online backup for those files and documents, which are required on a regular basis. They can have access to the stored files from any computer, without the need to store data in thumb drives and other external hard drives. In the recent times, WiFi networks have also gained in popularity. Both Cloud computing and WiFi networks add to the convenience of the user and are capable of revolutionizing workflow in organizations.
However, like every other technology, both cloud-based computing and WiFi technology may be misused by offenders. Recently, a German information security professional used a cloud-based computer to intrude into WiFi networks. Thomas Roth, who is based in the German city of Cologne hired a cloud-based computer – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) from Amazon and used it to hack into WiFi networks near his home. He used brute-force attack to crack the passwords to hack the WiFi networks protected by Wireless Protected Access (WPA) protocol.
The brute force attack involved one million attempts in 3 seconds. A successful attack may provide the hacker unauthorized access to a personal or business network. Attackers can gain remote access to the device, install arbitrary codes and seize confidential information. Such attacks pose threat to information security, confidentiality and integrity. Fortunately, in this case, the researcher does not have any malicious intentions and only intends to highlight the weaknesses. The breach questions the perceived infallibility of the WPA protocol. The breach also underlines the reality that security threats will continue to complement the advancements in technology. While developers face the challenge of coming up with innovative products, criminals constantly strive to explore and exploit vulnerabilities. Therefore, manufacturers and product developers must conduct regular evaluation tests such as ethical hacking to understand and mitigate the security flaws. Network administrators must adopt multi-factor authentication to ensure safe computing for WiFi users.