basic wireless security

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Old 12-25-06, 12:54 PM
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basic wireless security

I've drilled back to October looking for this topic, but I am in need of more basic information. How do I set up a secure wireless network? I have a PC connected to the router (G) upstairs and I keep the laptop downstairs, I also have a gaming adaptor connected to my PS2. My network is the only one on the block that is insecure. I also sometimes bring home my work laptop to connect to the company's system through my network. I know I'm taking a chance with this unsecure set-up, and now I'm ready to learn something new before I get breached.
 
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Old 12-25-06, 02:31 PM
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I have created a new thread for your post.

With wireless you want to use as much security as possible. The security you use depends on the wireless adapters in use on each PC and on the capabilities of the router. The lowest common denominator is what you have to settle for.

Remember that if your lowest common denominator is not enough, you can always upgrade,

At the very least you can almost always:
1) Turnoff broadcasting of the router name.
2) Use MAC filtering.
3) Use at least WEP (Wireless encryption Protocol).

Do not turn off broadcasting until you have your wireless computers configured and communicating to the router. Once programmed they will not forget the information and you can safely turn off broadcasting. You can always turn it on again if you get a new device you need to connect.

MAC filtering means that the MAC address of the device must be known to the router before it will allow a connection. This prevents unknown devices from connecting, even if they know other information.

WEP is the least effective of the encryption methods, but it is better than nothing. Better is WPA. Better still is WPA2.
 
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Old 12-26-06, 09:48 PM
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Thanks Bob, I seriously suspected I should do something about my situation, but how do I activate encryption? Will I have to plug everything back into my router and program it? Is there a website you can point me to that gives a detailed description on how to do this? I asked the computer guy at work, but I don't think he knows as much as he should about computers. I'm not retarded in terms of technology, I just can't find a site that goes into enough detail to get me started.
 
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Old 12-27-06, 01:10 AM
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Simply log into your router, enable WPA or WPA2, etc under something like "Wireless Security" (depending on the make of your router). Once activated, you'll most likely have to set a key or passphrase. Your wireless clients will then ask for this next time you connect (you may have to change the profile on the client, telling it that it's encrypted as well, depending on your software).

If you're still lost, you may want to hit your router documentation, or at least give us the make/model so we can give you more specific info.
 
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Old 12-27-06, 07:10 AM
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This thread was just last week:

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=287613
 
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Old 12-27-06, 04:31 PM
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Where do you live so I can get some free wireless? :-p

AxlMyk-
I read a response to another thread and you stated not to use wireless connection to complete banking, etc because it's unsafe. I find this to be a little difficult to swallow. It is HIGHLY unlikely someone could "intercept your signal and then crack a 128-256 bit encryption key. Not only would they have to beat your router encryption, but then the websites secure encryption software. This is unlikely to happen unless you are an absolute computer genious and actually need a job working in the Government.
 
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Old 12-27-06, 06:17 PM
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I could point you to a forum where nothing but networking is discussed, especially wi-fi.. It does not take long for someone to capture enough packets from a system to break the code.. It could be a neighbor, someone walking by, riding a bike, in a car.. It could be someone several blocks away with a directional antennae..
Doing online banking and purchasing via wireless is risky, but if you feel comfortable doing it, go ahead..
 
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Old 12-28-06, 04:07 PM
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They can capture all the packets they want, it's still encrypted.

they could get the info they wanted by going through your trash alot easier then a computer.
 
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Old 12-28-06, 04:16 PM
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It's apparent that you have no idea what it takes to break wireless security..
It is a very simple process..
 
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Old 12-28-06, 06:09 PM
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It is very naive to think that any wireless connections is secure, even one that is encrypted.
 
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Old 12-28-06, 07:09 PM
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I'm not saying it's 100% secure, nothing is. I think it's a bit much to think some shmuck is going to be sitting outside your house trying to "catch" your wireless traffic and steal your info.

Find me a case in the last few years where this has proven to happen? I bet you won't.

And finding a "hackers" website blog does not count.
 
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Old 12-29-06, 05:10 AM
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You got it.. Let me know if you need more..

http://www.channel3000.com/technology/2613265/detail.html

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/8835

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/8991

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/9453

http://news.com.com/Wireless+Internet+opens+new+path+for+thieves/2100-1009_3-5626703.html

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=13482

http://management.silicon.com/government/0,39024677,39150672,00.htm

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Technology/Singapore-teen-pleads-guilty-to-tapping-into-neighbors-wirelessInternet-network/2006/12/20/1166290612404.html
 
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Old 12-29-06, 05:49 AM
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Let's not continue to pick at each other, or I will close the post.

The encryption on packets is similar to locks on doors. You use locks to keep the honest people out, or to make yourself less of a target than someone else. A criminal will take the unlocked house over the locked one.

It is the same with wireless. You use encryption so that the data is clearly visible to someone sniffing packets. Sure, they can figure it out if they want to, but why bother when there is someone else nearby with no encryption.
 
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Old 12-29-06, 05:55 AM
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Not picking on anyone.. I frequent a forum where Wifi security is discussed in detail..
Just takes a bit extra to convince some people of the dangers..

There is a "Sport" called Wardriving.. I'm sure many of you have heard of it..
I do it myself.. It is NOT something that is done to break into networks, but just
a worldwide attempt to map APs.. You can find more info at www.wigle.net
My last wardrive was a train trip from Michigan to Colorado where I logged more
than 3000 wireless networks..

Some people, use the tools to find open, and secure networks, so they can show
their buddies that it's easy to break into systems..
 
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Old 12-29-06, 02:27 PM
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Last post and I am done with this thread.

I'm not doubting that someone can get onto a secure network, just that the info in that network is encrypted.
 
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Old 12-29-06, 05:19 PM
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It's true that the data is encrypted.. The danger is when you logon to the account..
Once someone has the key, they can intercept the user ID and password to the account..

I certainly didn't intend to start an argument with this thread.. My intent was to alert
people that wireless is not safe.. I always use a cable connected machine to do my
online purchasing and banking.. I'm still trying to get my Wife to understand it, although
she is coming around..
 
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Old 12-30-06, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by csharp View Post
Simply log into your router, enable WPA or WPA2, etc under something like "Wireless Security" (depending on the make of your router). Once activated, you'll most likely have to set a key or passphrase. Your wireless clients will then ask for this next time you connect (you may have to change the profile on the client, telling it that it's encrypted as well, depending on your software).

If you're still lost, you may want to hit your router documentation, or at least give us the make/model so we can give you more specific info.
Thank you, it does sound very simple, I'll take care of this today. I live in a subdivision where everyone has about an acre so the distance between houses is pretty far. I can only see the network of my nextdoor neighbor (secured) and there are no through streets so there isn't much traffic. I do feel as safe from hacking as I do from someone robbing my house and killing my wife, but like someone pointed out, I still lock my doors.

I will also take heed and return to the hardwired pc for monetary transactions. Thank you all for you help. I usually hit the handyman type rooms for help, but you technophiles proved to be just as helpful as the plumbers and electricians. Great site with great people.
 
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