What is Firesheep?

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What is Firesheep?
Firesheep is a new program extension available for Mozilla Firefox browsers and is used to hack into user passwords of websites that are not fully secure. Popular social media and networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are said to be vulnerable to this new password-hijacking program.

Firesheep is developed by a man named Eric Butler and this particular program can be downloaded free on the internet. Once the user has this program installed in his/her computer, he will have instant access to other users connected to a WiFi network. What happens is that users using Firesheep will be able to capture the cookies of a particular site visited by other people on a particular Wifi network. These cookies are the ones that contain the usernames and passwords of other people. So with Firesheep installed, hacking into another’s username and passwords is very easy. Using the program is designed for ease of use also. Once installed, a sidebar will appear on the Firefox window. This particular sidebar will let the user connect to the available Wifi network. And by just clicking the button “Start Capturing”, all users connected to an unsecured website will be displayed by Firesheep including their photos. And by simply doing this, one will have the privilege of viewing what other people are up to in those sites they visited. It’s like an instant login to other people’s account will be given to those that use Firesheep.

Many have criticized that Firesheep is made available to the public. Some worry that this particular program will make instant hackers out of normal people. But according to Butler, he just wanted to point out that many websites are not secure enough to protect people’s privacy. He just wanted to emphasize that some sites need to upgrade security features in order to protect enrolled users and subscribers.

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