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A brief history of Wi-Fi security protocols from “oh my, that’s bad” to WPA3 | Ars Technica
Enjoy our primer on the ups and downs of Wi-Fi protocols since the mid-1990s.
Thanks to upcoming developments in Wi-Fi, all of us connectivity-heads out there can look forward to getting familiar with new 802.11 protocols in the near future. Ars took a deep look at what's on the horizon last fall, but readers seemed to have a clear request in response—the time had come to specifically discuss the new Wi-Fi security protocol, WPA3.
Before anyone can understand WPA3, it's helpful to take a look at what came before it during The Dark Ages (of Internet)—a time with no Wi-Fi and unswitched networks. Swaths of the Internet today may be built upon "back in my day" ranting, but those of you in your 20s or early 30s may genuinely not remember or realize how bad things used to be. In the mid-to-late 1990s, any given machine could "sniff" (read "traffic not destined for it") any other given machine's traffic at will even on wired networks. Ethernet back then was largely connected with a hub rather than a switch, and anybody with a technical bent could (and frequently did) watch everything from passwords to Web traffic to emails wing across the network without a care.
Closer to the turn of the century, wired Ethernet had largely moved on from hubs (and worse, the old coax thinnet) to switches. A network hub forwards every packet it receives to every machine connected to it, which is what made widespread sniffing so easy and dangerous. A switch, by contrast, only forwards packets to the MAC address for which they're destined—so when computer B wants to send a packet to router A, the switch doesn't give a copy to that sketchy user at computer C. This subtle change made wired networks far more trustworthy than they had been before. And when the original 802.11 Wi-Fi standard released in 1997, it included WEP—the Wireless Encryption Protocol—which supposedly offered the same expectations of confidentiality that users today now expect from wired networks.
In retrospect, WPA3's early predecessor missed the mark. Badly.
wi-fi  security  privacy  history 
14 days ago by rgl7194
New Offensive USB Cable Allows Remote Attacks over WiFi
Like a scene from a James Bond or Mission Impossible movie, a new offensive USB cable plugged into a computer could allow attackers to execute commands over WiFi as if they were using the computer's keyboard.
When plugged into a Linux, Mac, or Windows computer, this cable is detected by the operating system as a HID or human interface device. As HID devices are considered input devices by an operating system, they can be used to input commands as if they are being typed on a keyboard.
Created by security researcher Mike Grover, who goes by the alias _MG_, the cable includes an integrated WiFi PCB that was created by the researcher. This WiFi chip allows an attacker to connect to the cable remotely to execute command on the computer or manipulate the mouse cursor.
In a video demonstration by Grover, you can see how the researcher simply plugs a cable into the PC and is able to connect to it remotely to issue commands through an app on his mobile phone.
security  privacy  USB  cables  wi-fi  hack 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Will Satellite Operators Become (Rural) Mobile Operators? - NSR, Feb 2019
"Connecting the “other 3 billion” is a recurring motto for the satcom Industry. Unfortunately, the reality is that the impact on mitigating the digital divide is still modest. Mobile is the de facto way of getting online for “the bottom of the pyramid” but here, satellite can still find enormous opportunities by complementing the gaps of terrestrial networks. Given this trend, are Wi-Fi hotspots over satellite the key way for satcom to bring the unconnected online?"

"Numerous actors in the satcom space are launching Wi-Fi hotspot offers to serve the low-end segments of the market. The addressable market for these kinds of solutions is massive given the billions living in underserved areas. According to NSR’s VSAT and Broadband Markets, 17th Edition report, Wi-Fi hotspot annual service revenues will reach $7.5 billion by 2027, representing 43% of total satellite consumer broadband revenues."

"With HTS becoming the norm, satellite broadband offers can now meet UN Broadband Commission affordability targets of 1 GB of data for less than 2% of the monthly GNI per capita"

"Today, a satellite terminal that supports double-digit Mbps with 10s of concurrent sessions combined with a Wi-Fi smallcell is below the $1,000 USD threshold, which is within the reach of local businesses."

"Selecting the right locations to set up the Wi-Fi hotspot is not trivial. It needs a reliable local microentrepreneur with appropriate technical skills to maintain the equipment and run the network. The village must be big enough with adequate disposable income to generate demand but not too large that it will shortly be targeted by terrestrial alternatives. In the same line, the hotspot should be far enough from terrestrial alternatives to avoid being cannibalized by terrestrial solutions, but penetration of mobile devices is crucial to ensure customers can access the network."
NSR  satellite  rural  Wi-Fi  hotspots  broadband  HTS 
5 weeks ago by pierredv
Amazon to Acquire eero to Help Customers Better Connect Smart Home Devices | Amazon.com, Inc. - Press Room
Amazon to Acquire eero to Help Customers Better Connect Smart Home Devices
February 11, 2019 at 4:50 PM EST
Amazon announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire eero, a company that offers products and services for high-performing, reliable, and simple home WiFi
SEATTLE & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 11, 2019-- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and eero today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire eero. eero’s home mesh WiFi systems set up in minutes and blanket every room of a customer’s home in high-performing, reliable WiFi. eero is already delighting Amazon customers with its products and services, as indicated by eero’s 4.6-star product rating on Amazon.com.
"We are incredibly impressed with the eero team and how quickly they invented a WiFi solution that makes connected devices just work,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices and Services. “We have a shared vision that the smart home experience can get even easier, and we’re committed to continue innovating on behalf of customers.”
“From the beginning, eero’s mission has been to make the technology in homes just work,” said Nick Weaver, Co-Founder and CEO of eero. “We started with WiFi because it’s the foundation of the modern home. Every customer deserves reliable and secure WiFi in every room. By joining the Amazon family, we’re excited to learn from and work closely with a team that is defining the future of the home, accelerate our mission, and bring eero systems to more customers around the globe.”
mesh  networking  router  wi-fi  amazon  M&A  press_release 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Amazon to Acquire Eero
Amazon Press Center:
Amazon and eero today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire eero. eero’s home mesh WiFi systems set up in minutes and blanket every room of a customer’s home in high-performing, reliable WiFi. eero is already delighting Amazon customers with its products and services, as indicated by eero’s 4.6-star product rating on Amazon.com.
The natural and obvious plan would be to integrate Eero base stations with Echo speaker units — one set of small things to plug in around your home, rather than two. Which of course, while convenient, would be a no-go for anyone who wants to use Eero for Wi-Fi without having listening devices in their house. (I hope Amazon supports existing no-microphone Eero hardware for years to come, and see no reason why they wouldn’t.)
I liked it when Eero was an independent company, but I always suspected an acquisition was inevitable. I was kind of hoping it would be Apple, if anyone, if only for privacy reasons.
(Disclosure: Eero is a long-time sponsor of Daring Fireball, particularly The Talk Show.)
mesh  networking  router  wi-fi  amazon  M&A  daring_fireball 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Best Universal Remote Control for 2019: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use universal remote to control up to eight AV components and even some smart-home devices, we recommend the Logitech Harmony Companion. Harmony remotes are the easiest to set up, and the smart, activity-based system simplifies control of your whole home theater. No other remote control we found offers as much control, connectivity, and compatibility for the money.
Our pick
Logitech Harmony Companion
The best universal remote control
The eight-device Harmony Companion doesn’t require line-of-sight to your gear, can control Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, and can even run your smart home.
$105 from Amazon
The two-piece Logitech Harmony Companion system, which consists of a hub and a handheld remote, can control up to eight AV components, and it works with IR, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth devices, which gives it more flexibility than many budget remotes have. You can also use a smartphone/tablet app to control your system. The Harmony Companion integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant, and several do-it-yourself home-automation hubs and smart devices, such as lights, locks, thermostats, and motorized shades. The remote lacks backlighting, and all of that functionality makes it a bit more difficult to program than some other Harmony remotes—but it’s still easier to use than anything else available.
remote  tv  smart_home  audio  wirecutter  comparo  review  wi-fi  bluetooth  automation 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Checklist 108: Hotel Wi-Fi How-To - SecureMac
This week on The Checklist, we’re going on vacation! No, wait — it’s a business trip. Maybe… the house is being fumigated! Whatever the reason is, we have to check into a hotel, leaving our home network behind. Good news, though: the hotel has free Wi-Fi for us to use! The bad news: we weren’t the ones to set up the security for the hotel’s wireless network. We don’t know who’s staying in the room next door, or what they might be up to… and then to top it all off; we see a message on our computer saying that our current Wi-Fi network connection “exposes all traffic.” What’s a traveler to do?
A few weeks ago, we received an email from a listener, John, filled with questions and concerns about logging into hotel Wi-Fi. John raised a lot of interesting concerns, and it occurred to us that he was probably not the only person wondering these things. Sure, people who travel for business all the time might have these things perfectly understood, but for the rest of us, the occasional trip to a hotel can leave us with some concerns about safe browsing. This week, our checklist consists of John’s many questions — and our answers.
Let’s kick things off with some information about that scary-sounding message you might see on your Mac after you connect to not just a hotel’s Wi-Fi network, but any public Wi-Fi network.
wi-fi  security  privacy  travel  podcast  vpn 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
How much money can you save with a Wi-Fi smart thermostat? | iMore
Best answer: If you use a Wi-Fi smart thermostat to intelligently control the temperature in your home, you could in the ballpark of 10%-25% on your energy bill compared to a standard thermostat.
Amazon: ecobee4 Smart Thermostat ($200)
A Wi-Fi smart thermostat offers not only total temperature control from your phone or tablet but real energy savings
The novelty value of being able to control home temperature with your iPhone or iPad is high, but in terms of real dollars and cents, Wi-Fi smart thermostats are expensive compared to normal programmable thermostats, especially if you require pro installation. The degree of energy savings will determine whether a Wi-Fi smart thermostat is a worthwhile purchase, and we're going to help you figure that out.
smart_home  utilities  money  wi-fi  home_stuff 
december 2018 by rgl7194
Account takeover fraud: 7 tips to make you less vulnerable
Editor's note: Naples (Florida) Daily News columnist and professional organizer Marla Ottenstein has been through a harrowing, expensive and life-changing experience since she was "hacked" last summer. She's sharing some of her insights and the lessons she's learned.
Shame on me, one of the most organized and security-conscious people you’ll ever meet, for logging onto the unsecured Wi-Fi at Miami International Airport last summer. I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but feeling impervious to hackers and somewhat cavalier, I figured: What could happen in 15 minutes.
It turns out a lot can happen. The criminals hijacked my email and my mobile accounts and tried (unsuccessfully) to take over my Apple account, and that was just the beginning.
security  privacy  wi-fi  vpn  2FA  passwords  credit_freeze  USB  charger 
december 2018 by rgl7194

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