This week, it became way easier to steal other people’s log-in information at Starbucks and in other public W-Fi locations.
Firesheep, an add-on for the Firefox web browser, lets you see the cookies in the computers that other people logged into the same WiFi Network you’re using are accessing. Translation: if someone logs into Facebook from the table across from you at Starbucks, you can get their user name and password, really easily. And <poof> . . . they’re hacked.
And oh yes: that means if they use Firesheep they can do it to you, too.
This matters for two reasons.
First: while it’s always been possible for someone with way-better-than-average geek skills and the desire to hack your computer to do this on a public network, most people ignore security issues like this and speaking in real-world terms were pretty safe doing so. No more: even though it might be only mischievous, the fact that it’s now SO easy for absolutely anyone to break into your computer means you MUST protect it. If you need help, Contact The Computer Answer Guy. Include the phrase “free firesheep help” in your message and we’ll teach you what you need to know.
Second: As pointed out here, Firesheep may be cool, and may have been created as a warning and for educational purposes rather than with malicious intent, but using Firesheep is unquestionably illegal.
Got that? You don’t want the business change you enact next to be figuring out how to run your business from jail. Please, don’t use Firesheep. Don’t even play with it.
And take us up on that free offer above.