Firesheep

I was going through some websites last night when a word caught my attention…. It was FIRESHEEP. Intrigued, i decided to make some research.

Firesheep, as it turns out is a new Mozilla Firefox extension (obviously, anyone can have this as long as that person is using Firefox), that lets ordinary users hack into Facebook and Twitter accounts easily. Now the social network developers and owners  have something to look into, and people who login to these social networking sites over open and unsecured WiFi networks should avoid logging in, at least for now.

Firesheep adds a sidebar to Mozilla’s Firefox browser that shows when anyone on an open network — such as a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi network — visits an insecure site.

Based on the information that I have acquired, Firesheep was developed to demonstrate the need for a secure web. In other words, it meant to test the vulnerability of websites to hacker attacks, with the help of open and unsecured networks. And, think about this, they are not professional hackers, they could be anyone who has Firesheep installed in Firefox. It could be your friend or foe or anybody who just want to make fun out of it, or worse, cyber criminals who will steal your personal information resulting to identity theft.

It’s that easy. Wow! Now anyone can log in on Facebook and Twitter among other social networks.

That is scary and dangerous, isn’t it? And oh, I forgot. It only works on non secured sites or in technical lingo, non HTTPS sites and on Wi-FI (if you are within the same IP network and subnet), which, is being used by all of the social networking sites today. Although I have made some special mention on the social networking sites here, other non-https site may also be affected like Amazon, Flickr, etc. Webmails using https are not affected. So better check your webmails now if they support the secure http protocol and better make adjustments.

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