Hackers Use Firesheep To Steal Your Login Details; Secure Surfing Possible with HTTPS

Written By Sam on 31 October 2010

If you are concerned about identity thefts and have not heard of Firesheep yet, read on. It is a Firefox add-on/plug-in that targets unsecured Wi-Fi networks and enables anyone steal login passwords of Facebook, Twitter and other services.

How Firesheep does this?

Firesheep looks for cookies in the air, usually your username and password when you log into a website, and allows hackers to log in to others’ Facebook, and Twitter accounts, or to any site that is not secured with SSL (HTTPS).

Agreed, this is a matter of serious concern and fortunately there is a way around it. Actually, we have mentioned it already in the last paragraph. Yes, the solution lies in the SSL and HTTPS encryption techniques that are used to secure internet communications.

Look for the ‘secure padlock’ icon in your browser. Most reputed websites also use it for secured login and registration. The padlock is an indicator that you are browsing in a secured setting. However, many sites often redirect you an ‘unsecured page’ after logging in. Technically your password remains secret but your exposed cookie can be a giveaway allowing others in that unsecured network to misuse the information gathered from the cookies.

The only solution to dodge this problem lies being aware and cautious particularly while surfing at a public location. Remember encryption is the key particularly in these times when almost everyone stores personal information on services like Facebook and Google.

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