I stumbled upon a program called FireSheep today. This completely free utility can allow a hacker to access user accounts on websites such as FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, and more. What is interesting and scary is that this application requires little to no technical know how to hack an account.
Here is how it works (and no it is not 100% effective 100% of the time):
1. The hacker installs the free application on their portable computer and travels to a free wireless network. You know, like the ones at McDonald's, Starbucks, the car wash, the hotel, your neighbors who does not secure their wireless access points.
2. Once connected the hacker presses the "Start Capturing" button and waits.
3. As soon as anyone on that network connects to a site that FireSheep knows about their information is displayed in the capture window. Now the hacker simply clicks the icon and they have just hijacked your account (see screen shot below).
How do you protect yourself? Don't use free wireless access points!
John "Mike" Wright