They’re Always Watching

A good reminder that whenever you’re on the ‘net, you’re always exposed, especially when using Wi-Fi. The story is about someone using a packet sniffer to capture web traffic and temporarily take over someone’s GMail account.

Point and click Gmail hacking at Black Hat

A good first step if you use GMail is to always sign-in using the site using SSL, which is easy to do. Just make sure you add an ‘s’ to the ‘http’ in the address bar in your browser.

Plain: http://mail.google.com

SSL: https://mail.google.com

When you’re logged in via SSL your browser will usually display some kind of icon showing that you are using a secure site (mine shows a tiny padlock icon on the status bar in the bottom right-hand corner of the window and the background color of the address bar changes to a slightly different color. Make sure you change this in any shortcuts or bookmarks you have saved as well. It’s by no means foolproof, more like locking your car and setting the alarm before you leave it, but it makes it harder for someone who’s malicious.

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