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Author Topic: WiFi Security Questions  (Read 2986 times)
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ElijahPrice
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« on: January 26, 2005, 01:47:59 PM »

So this morning I was reading an article in New Scientist called "Wireless Boom is Hacker's Heaven."  Granted I know that most home WiFi networks are not protected correctly and this is no surprise but I started to get curious when they talked about the ability of Hackers to break through WEP and MAC address security.  I know that when I set up my WiFi at home I only choose WEP security, mainly because I didn't know about the MAC address stuff until I was setting one up with my brother-in-law and then felt it was overboard.

But to the point.  What is the best way to secure a home WiFi network or is WEP enough??  Thanx.

Link to Partial Article:
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/info-tech/mg18524836.400
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Beer Goggles
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2005, 03:32:52 PM »

1.  Turn off broadcasting of the SSID.
2.  Rename the SSID and change the admin password.
3.  Use MAC filtering.
4.  Use WEP or WPA encrytion.

Unless you have the formula to cure cancer on your computer, you can rest easy.  No one will try to hack your WiFi when they can move to another area and find unsecured access points.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2005, 04:59:27 PM »

How do you set up the MAC Filtering?  I remember having to edit some text file in order to get it setup, or am I mistaken?

And WEP vs. WPA.  Whats the difference?

No cure for cancer yet.  But thats why i am asking.  smile
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2005, 02:34:40 AM »

With my Linksys router, there's an option somewhere to look up the PC's MAC addresses that are connected to it. From there, it's a simple 'click here to add this PC to the list', and now only that PC can be connected to the PC.

For my router, it's under - Wireless > Wireless MAC Filter > Enable (and then a few more windows from there).

The biggest issue is #2 - default SSID and admin password. Using just the basic defaults, hackers can get into a large number of routers. From there, who knows what they can hit.

I know there is a difference between WEP and WPA security, but the more common one is WEP (to my knowledge).

Just make sure you have some sort of security up. Follow #2, then do either #3 or #4. Most hackers will pass you by, just because there's an easier target down the street. Sorta like The Club theory - why spend the time trying to crack something, when you just hit the next car instead.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2005, 03:48:21 AM »

Thanx...I got the SSID, PW, and WEP.  So I guess I am good.  I will look into the MAC and follow your directions, better to know than not to know.
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Beer Goggles
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2005, 05:05:04 PM »

With your wireles card in and running...

Start -> Run -> type cmd -> type ipconfig /all

Look for the section titled Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection and the name of your card.  Your wireless card MAC address will be labeled Physical Address.  It will be 6 sets of 2 numbers and letters seperated by dashes.  I do not know what kind of router you have but for my Linksys, all I had to do was type in the MAC.
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Ibby
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2005, 05:59:43 PM »

You'd be surprised how many people out there DON'T turn off the defaults on their Wi-Fi networks.  

When setting up a machine on my hone network with a new wireless card, I immediately saw 2 separate unsecured broadcasted wireless networks near my house.  One was called "2WIRE5", which I think is a default name for a certain wireless brand, and the other which was "Linksys_SSID".  

Now, since I don't have a laptop, I couldn't really determine which houses these networks were broadcasting from since the signal strength was too weak to connect to from my computer room.  I wanted to tell them to secure their stuff, but after further thought, I like having a bunch of open networks around here.  Tends to deflect unwanted attention away from my network.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2005, 10:08:00 PM »

Heh....yeah.  I know there are plenty of folks out there that don't realize what they are getting into with WiFi.

Funny story -- My bro-in-law once went driving around with his friend (they were both real bored) and were finding unprotected WiFi networks and would print stuff in the person's house saying "Protect your Network!"  Kinda funny, he is perfectly harmless.  I was just surprised that that even happens.
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Nakor
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2005, 11:26:22 PM »

Turning off SSID broadcast and using MAC filtering are NOT good ways to secure your network. At best you'll have a false sense of security. At worst you'll cause more problems than you solve. Check out this link:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,12351504~mode=full#12351637

Basically the SSID and MAC can easily be sniffed and replicated by anyone. Use WPA if you can or WEP if you have to, but MAC filtering is useless and turning off the SSID broadcast can cause problems.
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Jancelot
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2005, 05:05:18 PM »

The marketing company next to us runs an unsecured Apple network.  We all use it for 'net access from our laptops.  At home I can occasionally see 2 unsecured networks.  But they must be at about max distance because they're very weak signals.

I need to turn on the MAC filtering.  I've done all the rest, though.
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Nakor
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2005, 11:13:08 PM »

If you use WPA or WEP, there's no need for MAC filtering.  Stations can't use your network without the key, plain and simple.
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2005, 12:53:16 AM »

The most important thing with home WiFi is to just use encryption and not to broadcast your SSID.

Your goals are different with a business, since you are trying to hackproof rather than just make it difficult.  Someone may spend 50 hours trying to break Contoso's network so they can download the salary lists and sell it to their competitor (or get the source code to one of their games  :wink: ), but I dont think someone is going to put 50 hours into finding out what pr0n sites I go to, or to try and see how many hours I play WoW.

Granted that your 15-year old neighbor might be practicing his 1337 script kiddie skilwz on j00, but its probably not likely.  And you should also have a software firewall on each computer anyway, such as ZoneAlarm or Sygate, since both have very excellent free versions.
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Nakor
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2005, 07:26:18 PM »

I still maintain that disabling the SSID broadcast does nothing but cause the potential for problems. If you are using the network, you are broadcasting the SSID (it is part of every packet, and it is unencrypted whether you use encryption or not). By turning it off, there is the potential to cause intermittent interference problems with nearby networks which could be very hard to diagnose.

However, I do agree that with home networks security isn't as important.  For every secure home wifi network there are 4 unsecure networks for a wardriver or neighbor kid to use. smile
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2005, 07:50:08 PM »

Quote from: "ElijahPrice"
What is the best way to secure a home WiFi network or is WEP enough??  Thanx.


Power off your wireless transmitter.  biggrin
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2005, 08:19:23 AM »

turn off dhcp for wireless routers and assign the ip adresses manually and restrict the ip range of the router to just the ip addresses you need.
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2005, 06:43:46 AM »

The best protection I think is a gun in this case. There is really no problem that can not be solved with a gun. If you don't have a gun wep is probably the next best thing.
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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2005, 03:10:30 PM »

Quote from: "Baron Of Hell"
The best protection I think is a gun in this case. There is really no problem that can not be solved with a gun. If you don't have a gun wep is probably the next best thing.


Why choose one?  You can have both!

802.11 guns could quite possibly be nirvana, in this case.
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deadzone
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2005, 08:11:36 PM »

I run my wireless router behind a wired router and do all of the other things suggested as well.  It's a pain in the ass to set up the wireless router behind a wired router though....
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