Does Your Verizon Router Use WEP Encryption?
April 29, 2014
Why is WEP wireless encryption widely used even though security experts, specifically the Wi-Fi Alliance, no longer support this algorithm to protect wireless networks due to the multiple vulnerabilities evident?
If you have no clue what WEP, WAP, or WAP2 means, don’t worry. This post recognizes the lack of awareness of bad security practices that continue to thrive, which in turn leaves businesses and home networks vulnerable to cyber attacks. You may not house pertinent and attractive information for unethical hackers through your home wireless network, but don’t you want better protection? Shouldn’t you feel safe surfing the web, paying bills, and doing other activities in your home? Then why do internet providers, such as Verizon sell routers with default WEP settings?
What is Wired Equivalent Privacy algorithm (WEP)?
WEP is a method utilized for securing wireless internet connections on a network, particularly IEEE 802.11. Following its introduction in 1997, it became a widely used method for encrypting wireless network connections and access points in 1999. Although it was accepted, security researchers quickly discovered numerous vulnerabilities and methods for cracking the encryption.
Despite the ongoing attacks that can easily crack a WEP protected wireless network, individual users, mostly unaware of these obscurities, continue to use devices such as routers with installed WEP default encryption following its recognition as a deeply flawed algorithm in 2004.
Why is WEP for Verizon Devices Still Used?
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and WAP2 are the preferred wireless encryption methods. Rather than making WAP or WAP2 the default setting for wireless home routers, Wi-Fi providers such as Verizon opt for WEP.
Verizon’s website admits this fault and not all of the devices they sell or sold in years past are WPA or WPA2 compatible. Though you must give Verizon credit for supplying step-by-step online instruction for updating your router to WPA.
Verizon help does answer the question regarding the preinstalled WEP for routers and devices by stating WEP is better than no security at all. But should home internet users bear the responsibility for protecting their own networks? Don’t misinterpret this question. A large majority of security problems stem from the average internet user who lacks basic cyber security awareness, especially in the workplace. Today’s average internet user is extremely negligent.
Yet the question proposed beckons for a legitimate response. If you have DSL or Verizon Fios controlled by a Verizon router, then check your security settings. Update immediately or even consider changing Wi-Fi providers.
Do you want to learn how unethical hackers could break into your wireless network?