Encyclopedia - Encyclopedia Part 4 -
Way back when, during the time when the WPA (WiFi Protected Access) was still being ratified, the WiFi hack was a dead sport in the sense that it's like shooting fish inside a barrel.The interim standard at the time, WEP (Wired Equivalent Policy), is so notoriously inept at its job and infamously easy to crack that having WEP protection is no better (or maybe even worse) than having no protection at all. It's vulnerable to virtually every last encryption algorithm cracker and statistical weakness in existence. Eventually, WPA (and WPA2) was formally established, but WiFi remains too volatile and vulnerable a medium to be accepted the same way as its wired counterpart has when it comes to commercial use.
To this day, the threat of the WiFi hack remains very real and very commonplace despite network protocols such as WEP, WPA, and WPA2 because even now, there are still many ways to get around these so-called safeguards. For instance, WiFi is quite vulnerable to DOS (Denial of Service) and DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks because of the manner in which various layers of the OSI stack interact with each other. Obviously, a hacking attempt exploiting the "physical" layer of a wireless network is much more straightforward and trouble-free to attack than to attempt the very same thing on a wired network. That's because the physical layer of WiFi is air or the general space around which an access point transmits itself, not wires.
In other words, the reason why wireless networks are so vulnerable to attack is the fact that they're wireless. WiFi hackers need only to wardrive and hunt for certain access points in order to jumpstart their invasions involving bug exploitation, identity theft, system compromises, data manipulation, and other malicious cyber crimes. Regardless of where your WiFi connection's access points are laid out (within a building, on a nearby restaurant, at the lobby of a resort, and so on), hackers generally have an easy time hacking through wireless connections because they don't actually need to gain access to your internal corporate campus.
The very nature that makes WiFi such an appealing innovation is also the source of its so-called insecurity. Thus, with a simple wardrive and DOS attack later, your laptop or wireless device can be compromised by most any competent hacker out there.Then again, security experts are hard at work in making sure that "wireless" doesn't necessarily mean "defenseless" when it comes to computer networking and connecting online. If the computer age was able to survive the nigh-immortal malware threat, then it would find a way around WiFi's deficiencies as well.