New FireFox Plug-In, FireSheep, Puts Public Wi-Fi Users at Risk

By
Real Estate Agent with Lanier Partners

There is a new plug-in for Firefox, called Firesheep, that allows those that have implemented it to "sidejack" some of your accounts, such as Facebook, Gmail, etc. when you are logged into a public wi-fi network. The author of this plug-in states that his intentions are not malicious but that he just released the app to show people how vulnerable they are.

Of course, it now enables everyone who installs this plug-in to now not only know what apps like Facebook others are running but allows them to log into those accounts and use them just as if they were the owner.

So what can we do about it. Well, the obvious answer is to not log into certain accounts when using public wireless networks such as libraries, MacDonald's, Starbucks, etc. These accounts include Facebook, Gmail and other similar accounts. Also, when using your wireless phone, don't connect to the public wireless network, use the 3G or 4G connection.

For a more in depth look at this and for tips on how to protect yourself, you can go to this article from CNN Tech.

Its getting really scary out there!

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Ambassador
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Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

So the suggestion is not to install this app.  I can do that.  I'd rather have fewer apps installed on Firefox anyway. 

November 01, 2010 03:30 PM #1
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Bryan - it allows those that install the plug - in to look at your accounts and 'jack them.

November 01, 2010 03:35 PM #2
Ambassador
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Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

So, anybody who installs that app can get into my stuff without me knowing???

November 01, 2010 03:43 PM #3
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Virginia - that's how it appears

November 01, 2010 03:51 PM #4
Rainmaker
237,324
Roger Johnson
CENTURY 21 American Homes - Hickory, NC
Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate

The ability has always been there, Mike.  What's really scary is now someone has made an app that allows the average person to jack into your accounts vs. the techie criminal guy. 

November 01, 2010 05:55 PM #5
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Roger - yep, now it is available to the non-geek to hack into your business.

November 01, 2010 07:53 PM #6
Rainmaker
292,396
Bob "RealMan" Timm
National Marketing Realtors - Minot, ND
Decades Of Service to the Greater Minot ND Area

Good to know Mike. Are you also saying they can only hack into what you are logged into? If I don't use any of the examples above I've got nothing to worry about?

Bob

November 01, 2010 08:44 PM #7
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Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

I read this, I think on Mashable, there is someone who has created an app to block it, But I prefer NOT to use wifi's in public places for this reason.

November 01, 2010 08:49 PM #8
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Bob - if you aren't logged in, they can't track you with this.

Missy - this now just adds to the apps that I won't use on public wi-fir

November 01, 2010 11:34 PM #9
Ambassador
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Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I seldom use public wi-fi... although I have... I prefer to use my Clear modem. 

November 01, 2010 11:45 PM #10
Rainer
56,630
Elizabeth Baklaich
Virtual Assistant to Steve Baklaich RE/MAX Realty Source MN - Saint Cloud, MN

WOW, thanks for posting this Mike. I do not use them with any regularity but this is really good to know, thank you!

November 02, 2010 08:21 PM #11
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Mike Saunders

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