Cameron's conference Wi-Fi code calamity

Cameron's conference Wi-Fi code calamity

Summary: OK, it's not much of a calamity. But when you want to be seen as leading a government intent on making the internet a safer place, heading up global cybersecurity and locking down the nation's digital jewels, it's a bit bad to be the agent of — oh, I don't know — encouraging attacks on VIP laptops.

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech
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OK, it's not much of a calamity. But when you want to be seen as leading a government intent on making the internet a safer place, heading up global cybersecurity and locking down the nation's digital jewels, it's a bit bad to be the agent of — oh, I don't know — encouraging attacks on VIP laptops.

So it's a bit of a shame that David Cameron has just appeared live on national TV from a conference in a hotel in central London posing in front of a cinema-sized screen that's giving away... well, what do you think?

David Cameron

To us at ZDNet UK, it looks like the VIP password for the conference Wi-Fi. Which means anyone capable of getting within sniffing distance can get access to that network — and can start to inspect packets, scan ports, investigate vulnerabilities and so on. In our experience, hotel Wi-Fi codes work everywhere in the building, which should be interesting for anyone with a laptop watching the telly in a room upstairs, and as we know, Wi-Fi can be the vector for some nasty attacks on personal authentication.

So, to help Dave from PR and his security experts, here's a recap on safe passwords from DirectGov's "how to be secure online" advice page:

Good passwords should:

* never be shared (including with helpline staff), written down or observed * be at least seven characters long * be a mixture of lower and upper case letters, numbers and other keyboard characters * changed regularly - every three months is good guide * not be the same on all the sites you use

Anything else we can do, just let us know.

Topic: Emerging Tech

Rupert Goodwins

About Rupert Goodwins

Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.

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  • V4HLPZ....And I thought it was his cue / title of his speech, regarding the NHS.
    VIP user...Pause mode - Vision for Hell, Please.
    Alternatives:
    Vision for Hospitals Left Performing Zero (Operations)
    Vision for Hospitals Left Paralyzed
    Vision for Hospitals Likely (not to be) Privatised - Zero.
    Vision for Hospitals Left Public - Zero.

    If you'd only being a moment sooner with the screen grab, it would have also said 'Died from Asphyxiation'.

    Which seems quite apt really, given his name pops up frequently in general conversation regarding what one wishes they could do metaphorically speaking, to David Cameron out of sheer frustration with the man.
    adamjarvis