Ubuntu stores your Wi-Fi pass­words, by de­fault!

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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.

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