updated 04:35 pm EST, Tue January 19, 2010
Novatel says impact of MiFi hacks limited
Novatel today promised that it will patch the security exploits that could threaten its MiFi hotspot routers and explained some of the behavior of the network. The router designer argues to Electronista that the remote settings hacks only apply as long as the MiFi is in contact with a malicious site and leaves no trace of hostile code the moment the connection is broken.
GPS-based exploits also only work as long as the MiFi owner is connected and has positioning turned on, Novatel says.
While no timeframe is given for the fix, the details suggest that security breaches will more likely result from phishing attacks that trick owners into visiting a dangerous website without their knowledge. Fears have surfaced that the exploits could be used for more permanent compromises that would grant access and let "black hat" intruders find a MiFi user in the real world or impact the quality of the connection.