How to protect against Firesheep attacks
Recently a new Firefox plugin named Firesheep was developed that can turn any computer into a packet sniffer capable of hacking wireless networks. With no knowledge of hacking, anyone who downloads this software can scan all the data being sent at wireless hotspots. The attacker can sit in a coffee shop and watch what everyone is doing over the network. The potential for identity theft, and worse, is huge. Judging from the number of forum posts, there are a lot of people downloading and asking how to use this.
Although this has always been a risk, until now it took some sophistication to pull it off. With Firesheep, anyone can do it. Below are a few articles that show the extent of this risk.
Firesheep Simplifies Stealing Logins
Firefox Add-on Firesheep Brings Hacking to the Masses
Firesheep session hijacking tool makes public Wi-Fi useless
Firesheep In Wolves’ Clothing: Extension Lets You Hack Into Twitter, Facebook Accounts Easily
Fortunately, the Personal VPN can stop Firesheep and all other packet sniffing hacks, cold. Because all your data is encrypted past the hotspot, the would-be hackers see nothing from you except heavily encrypted traffic.
With government grade encryption, no pseudo hacker or real hacker can get to your personal information.