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#189561 - 10/16/09 05:47 PM Watch Out!
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Just been reading this mornings paper here.
It seems there are people here in town that like to drive around town looking for un-secured Wi-Fi signals to latch onto, to download all sorts of things.
A couple of people have been caught out, the hard way with huge ISP bills. shocked
The police are now involved.

Personally I can't say I have a lot of sympathy for these people, I mean, how difficult is it to secure a wireless router these days?
Most set-up software makes it a cinch to secure your wifi signal.
However some people are of the mind that it's just too hard, if they bothered to read the documentation that came with the thing, they'd not be out of pocket.

Sure, these punks shouldn't be doing this sort of thing (which is tantamount to theft), but would you leave your house unlocked 24/7?
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#189568 - 10/17/09 11:56 AM Re: Watch Out! [Re: Trumpy]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
There is a strong movement in the "stick it to the man" crowd that says you should run your connection open. "Power to the people" and stuff like that.
That probably won't help when the constabulary is knocking on your door asking why you were downloading kiddie porn and logging on to the "Al Qaeda" web site.
I am a "wire" guy. I have a WiFi capable router but I have the RF turned off.

I also have heard rumors that Comcast is war driving around the neighborhoods looking for open connections and going after the owner with a TOS violation. Other that canceling your account I am not sure what they can really do.
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#189578 - 10/17/09 09:41 PM Re: Watch Out! [Re: gfretwell]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
Warchalking (the process of finding open WiFi spots and documenting them) has been going on for a long time, but running open WiFi can pose a security problem... Not only to your computers, but any illegal activity could be traced back to you via your ISP.

The bandwidth charges wouldn't be as much of an issue in the US, as we typically have flat-rate* service except for mobile. *Of course, there are always the seedy ISPs who secretly have a bandwidth limit, or vague terms the allow them to impose any bandwidth limit on a whim--when it becomes "degrading" to their network performance.

If people really want to share their WiFi, there are appropriate firewall/gateway devices that offer some protection, but they are not cheap as they're generally designed for businesses offering WiFi to the public.
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#189579 - 10/18/09 01:01 AM Re: Watch Out! [Re: noderaser]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
If I turned on my WiFi router I would put it in front of another firewalled router with my network on that.
I tried that tonight and it does seen to work.
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#190910 - 12/10/09 01:45 PM Re: Watch Out! [Re: gfretwell]
Radar Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
My WiFi access point (broadcaster) is not in the same box as my DSL router. I would recommend keeping them separate, as well as changing the broadcast name, password, the entire IP numbering or your network to something non-standard, limiting internet access to specific MAC addresses, etc. Make it dificult for the WiFi hunters.

An amazing number of people still go out and buy a Linksys WiFi DSL/Cable router, take it out of the box, hook it up and plug it in, and turn it on without changing any of the default settings. I have one or 2 in my neighborhood - if I knew who they were, I'd go tell them.
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#190923 - 12/11/09 12:35 AM Re: Watch Out! [Re: Radar]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted By: Radar
My WiFi access point (broadcaster) is not in the same box as my DSL router. I would recommend keeping them separate, as well as changing the broadcast name, password, the entire IP numbering or your network to something non-standard, limiting internet access to specific MAC addresses, etc. Make it dificult for the WiFi hunters.

An amazing number of people still go out and buy a Linksys WiFi DSL/Cable router, take it out of the box, hook it up and plug it in, and turn it on without changing any of the default settings. I have one or 2 in my neighborhood - if I knew who they were, I'd go tell them.



Radar,
That is very good advice there.
Especially with MAC addresses, it is hard to spoof one of them.

The trouble is, is the manufacturers and the people that market these devices to consumers that don't really know anything about computers, but like using them anyway.
These are the same people that never bother to read any of the documentation that comes with these devices and expect it to work when it is plugged in and the set-up disk has run.

I also have a feeling that these could be the same people that ring the support line when it doesn't work first time, when it hasn't been configured properly, as per the settings in the manual.

Simple may be good in some things, but it also makes them easy to hack.
It is a shame that there are people around that do take advantage of this fact, but, hey, that is the reality of life.

I could be turning into a whinging old codger, but I reckon things have got too simple (dumbed down) for thier own good.
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#190936 - 12/11/09 09:17 PM Re: Watch Out! [Re: Trumpy]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
If you are friendly with your neighbors, you could use a laptop with a program like NetStumbler and find them using the signal strength. I used to go looking for "Rogue Access Points" this way when I was working IT in a school district.

If anyone thinks they need a disc to set up their wireless router, that automatically sets up red flags for me. Just like the people who think they absolutely need to use MSN with their Qwest DSL.
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#194385 - 05/28/10 05:30 PM Re: Watch Out! [Re: noderaser]
Tiger1vic Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/28/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Canada
It's not just those guys - Google was just ordered to remove information about unsecured wireless access points from their database. Seems while they were driving around compiling photos for their streets view (which is fantastic BTW) they were also gathering SSID's and relating them to GPS coordinates so they could map them out for anyone to play with. Yes, secure your router!

(see my other post here)
Router


Edited by Tiger1vic (05/28/10 05:32 PM)

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