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Wireless Router/network

rafael
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 01-08-2007

Wireless Router/network

Hi there,

Is internet banking safe to perform across a wireless network?
Or does it depend on the quality of your router?
6 REPLIES
N/A

Wireless Router/network

it can be safe(ish) however all encryption can be broken given time and CPU cycles, so it is better if u dont
craigbrass
Grafter
Posts: 1,009
Registered: 30-07-2007

Wireless Router/network

Personally I don't for this very reason. Wireless security is crap. If you have a laptop or are near your hub, your best plugging an ethernet cable in to do your banking.
N/A

Wireless Router/network

Interesting really your bank will be using HTTPS. So a potential hacker will need to break your wireless encrytption and then SSL to get into your connection. So if you use at least 128 bit WEP or preferably WPA-PSK, MAC address filtering, a router with a firewall, a client / workstation with a personal firewall or at the minimum Windows XP built-in firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus you are going to be a pretty hard target. Just look at the number of wireless AP's in your vicinity that have no wireless encryption. If you wanted to get at someone which would you go for first?
N/A

Wireless Router/network

Actually even if you didn't use WEP (and you should), your connection would be secured via SSL to 128 Bit encryption.

Even if you could grab the signal, you'd need to know what algoririthm was used to encrypted the SSL layer, and the key.

Finally to break 128 Bit encryption, you need a seriously powerful computer, not something you could carry around in a car, wardriving, and it would take time.

You'd probably be more at risk of getting a key logger than someone breaking the SSL layer.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Wireless Router/network

If you are on your own wireless network then I personally would say that to use Internet banking is “safe”, or as secure as it reasonably can be.

But I would not recommend using internet banking from a public wireless hot spot, as the risks are increased. There was much hype about “Evil Twin” networks recently, where people set up a false, public wireless hot spot to steal passwords.

Much of this was hype and the risk is still very small, you could liken it to using a mobile phone in a petrol station, due to the risk of explosion they are banned, but there has never been an explosion caused by a mobile in a petrol station. (There are a large number of urban myths.)

Chilly
N/A

Wireless Router/network

Quote

Much of this was hype and the risk is still very small, you could liken it to using a mobile phone in a petrol station, due to the risk of explosion they are banned, but there has never been an explosion caused by a mobile in a petrol station. (There are a large number of urban myths.)


[Off Topic]

Mobile phones don't cause explosions at petrol pumps, it's static electricity generating a spark.
I've seen a few posters from Shell sighting cases of explosions due to mobile phones, but all of them could be explained by static.
I've also seen experiments where the perfect conditions have been created for a fire, the mobile phone was rung, and nothing happen. Generate a spark, and boom.

[/off topic]

Hot spots present their own security issues and people who use them should consider them insecure. However again, banking sites use SSL so the data would still be safe. However as chilly stated you have the danager of an evil twin . I'm inclinded to agree the risk is low, but it's better to be safe than sorry.