***Melbourne CBD Cyber Security Warning***

Network Security

***Melbourne CBD Cyber Security Warning***

Cybercrime is on the increase in Australia with more businesses becoming targets to severe malicious acts. The Hon Malcom Turnbull has recently reported in his Cyber Security Strategy Report that this threat is “unprecedented” with “the rate of compromise increasing and the methods used by malicious actors rapidly evolving”.


Is your business network secure?


Earlier this month, our Netwireless Engineer, Bryce, took to the streets of Melbourne to identify potential flaws in the city’s Wi-Fi network. Utilising Wi-Fi survey equipment from Ekahau, Bryce detected and mapped Melbourne’s CBD wireless networks and environments whilst cycling 68km in 4h 41m!  It was quite an achievement!


The software detected over 35,000 individual access points from cafes, shopping centres, tourism and government sectors throughout the city. In addition, it identified over 60,000 separate Wi-Fi networks.


What we found


Alarmingly, we found a staggering 23% of networks were unsecured (open networks) which means they are open for anyone to access.



An experienced cyber-criminal can capture all the activity on an open network including information from unsuspecting public visitors. If at any point financials or login details are used on an unsecured network, those users can easily become victims of cybercrime.


How can you protect your Wi-Fi Network from cybercrime?


At minimum, your Wi-Fi network needs to have a Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) which includes message integrity checks. Highly recommended is the WPA2 security standard. Reassuringly, 76% of the networks we detected had deployed this level of security. Breaking into a WPA/WPA2 secured network requires between 2-14 hours of sustained effort. Who would you choose? One of the 14,000 networks which are unsecured or one that will require that level of attention?

Study Limitations


As with any study there are limitations. Cycling with Ekahau equipment only collected a quick snapshot of the signals detected. It is important to note that we were unable to collect all the information such as:

~ Samples can only be gathered 15m each side of the equipment and up to 6         stories high on buildings from road level.

~ Cycling on the left-hand side of the road limits the 15m range on one side.

~ GPS is not 100% accurate

~ And finally, a laptop adapter was used.


Even with these limitations and the subset of data collected. It is imperative that Melbourne businesses review their Wi-Fi security.


About NetWireless


NetWireless is a multi-disciplinary IT network and management company specialising in WiFi design, deployment, security and managed services. Speak to our technical consultants today (CALL 1300 324 844) to ensure your Wi-Fi infrastructure will meet your needs.