Ubuntu stores your Wi-Fi passwords, by default!
Ubuntu is not as secure as you perhaps thought it to be. According to reports, the Linux-driven distribution stores its Wi-Fi profiles outside its Home folder, which makes them more accessible. This includes passwords for the Wi-Fi profiles. Reports say that a user pointed out that Wi-Fi passwords on Ubuntu aren’t encrypted as they are stored outside the Home folder. This folder, though, can be encrypted during the OS’ installation. “I recently stumbled over the fact that NetworkManager, by default, stores Wi-Fi profiles ‘including clear text passwords’ under /etc/NetworkManager/systemconnections/. I think that this is not what one expects when one turns on Home folder encryption and because of that, this should be corrected somehow,” Softpedia quoted user Per Guth from a mailing list.
The issue is apparently a result of the option, ‘All users may connect to this network’, that is enabled by default. In order to switch this feature off, users have to open the Network Indicator and go to Edit Connections. Then choose Select Network and click on Edit. In the General tab here, uncheck the option in order to switch it off.
Unchecking the option reportedly moves the password into the required folder, but the Softpedia report speculated that the majority of users wouldn’t be aware of this issue. Whether Canonical will make any changes to this or not remains to be seen.