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Poll

How many Unprotected Wireless Lans can you reach from your computer?

Way too many to count!
1 (0.7%)
5-10
9 (6%)
3-5
20 (13.4%)
2
18 (12.1%)
1
24 (16.1%)
0
39 (26.2%)
Wish I had a Wireless Card!!
29 (19.5%)
Don't Know / Don't Care
9 (6%)

Total Members Voted: 141

Last post Author Topic: Unprotected Wireless Lans?  (Read 19399 times)

jgpaiva

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Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« on: March 19, 2006, 06:54:08 PM »
After having seen this matter being discussed lots of times in the IRC channel, i decided to make a poll about it.
Unprotected Wireless Lans is a common "problem" among less-informed people, and it can represent a real issue if you have a low bandwidth limit. (I call it a "problem" because it can be really good for some people - the ones that don't actually own the router :P)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 06:57:14 PM by jgpaiva »

Rover

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2006, 07:36:08 PM »
;D  Yeah, I see both sides.  On the one hand, I don't want leeches sucking up my bandwidth, so my router is secure.

On the other hand, when my sister-in-law visits, she can connect to the neighbors WLAN and I don't have to set her up on my router.  I would have done so, but the first time she visited I wasn't home so she found a network and just started using it.  :-[
Insert Brilliant Sig line here

jgpaiva

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2006, 07:48:17 PM »
Me too, I am a Wireless Router owner myself, and mine is protected. But I live with two compulsive-downloaders, who would blow my bandwidth limits out of scale if they used our network. So, they use a unprotected one. But the owner doesn't seem to care, since he doesn't protect it...  ;D

allen

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2006, 10:12:19 PM »
Before I had my own broadband connection here, I found I could hop onto my neighbors from most points in my house with a relatively good signal.  Bound by some old-school "good neighbor" syndrome, I brought it up and was told to feel free to use it . . . yay :)

When I had an apartment in Norfolk, VA, I had access to 3, sometimes 4, unsecure lans.

lanux128

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2006, 12:26:43 AM »

i don't have wi-fi cards on my pc but i had to help out some friends of mine who have them...
here's one article that i always refer them to --> Why is Wireless Security Important?


trigger

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2006, 02:46:23 AM »
between 6 and 7.

Hellie

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2006, 10:51:54 AM »
I have just secured by wirless modem and router with a 64 bit encryption. Is this enough what is the difference between this and 128 bit? Next the article that was recommended that you read a couple of posts back says to close 3rd party programmes and disable TCP/IP. How do you do this?

I have 3 LAN networks I could access. Who they belong to I do not know one is a server.

This is all new to me.

Helen

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2006, 11:28:38 AM »
hey this gave me a great idea for a perfect donationcoder.com coding snack!

what about a program designed to find unprotected wireless lans, and figures out a way to politely inform the admin that their network is unprotected, and sends them some links to info on how to protected it *IF* they want to, or else info about how to safely keep it unprotected in order to share open access if they want to keep it open.

what do you think? seems like a really nice idea to me.  we could call it Helpfull Snooper or something like that.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2006, 06:10:29 AM »
Trouble is just doing that is illegal in some countries (the UK for one).

f0dder

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006, 11:20:39 AM »
I dunno how many unprotected WLANs are around, since my laptop-enabled friend didn't have any "toolz" when he visited me. But we found about 15 active WLANs, 3-4 of them that were permanently online and with good signal strength...
- carpe noctem

moerl

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2006, 05:33:00 PM »
The answer is seven for me. It's great. Whenever my router's is down for whatever reason, I have 7 alternatives to choose from :D

jgpaiva

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2006, 07:45:07 AM »
The answer is seven for me. It's great. Whenever my router's is down for whatever reason, I have 7 alternatives to choose from :D
I must say that goes way beyond what could of. 7 Unprotected wlans in the same place is too much.
And how many protected ones?
If I was my mother, I'd be saying "oh.. so much radio activity.. that's bad for you, it causes cancer, bla bla bla" and you'd be hearing about 30 minutes of nagging, telling you to move out :tellme:

app103

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2006, 08:02:59 AM »
If it weren't for unprotected wireless lans, half the people I know wouldn't have an internet connection. And most of those are leeching files off of various P2P networks.

One was even able to access the router and forward ports to be able to host a room on one.

Not for nothing, but with the recent FBI bust of a kiddy porn ring with a room hosted on a P2P, I would be securing my network if I had one, because if I didn't I could be blamed for the sick illegal activities of whoever was abusing my bandwidth.

And at the very least, if I wasn't worried about being blamed for it or even charged as an accessory, I sure wouldn't want to be helping them hurt children and spread their garbage to other sick & depraved friends of theirs.

You never know what someone else is doing when you don't take your security seriously.

jgpaiva

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2006, 08:43:59 AM »
You never know what someone else is doing when you don't take your security seriously.
Very,very good point.
I think this thread might be a good way to warn DC users to be careful with the way they secure their networks, I had already been warned about the possibility of my bandwidth being abbused, but this is a whole other risk.
You never know who lives next to you, he might even be hacking into the pentagon through your WLan ;)

moerl

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2006, 09:07:23 AM »
The answer is seven for me. It's great. Whenever my router's is down for whatever reason, I have 7 alternatives to choose from :D
I must say that goes way beyond what could of. 7 Unprotected wlans in the same place is too much.
 And how many protected ones?
 If I was my mother, I'd be saying "oh.. so much radio activity.. that's bad for you, it causes cancer, bla bla bla" and you'd be hearing about 30 minutes of nagging, telling you to move out :tellme:
 
It's actually 8 unprotected ones, 14 protected ones, with one among the unprotected ones using the default out-of-the-box SSID. So that makes 14 people with wireless AP's around me that have some clue of what they're doing, 8 noobs, (how likely is it that you know what you're doing and are sharing your bandwidth with everybody around you because you want to??), and one ultimate king of the noobs, who just took the router out of the box and plugged in the two cables and didn't worry about it ever since, having left even his SSID at default. For some odd reason Netstumbler does not tell me which encryption is used... WPA or WEP... all protected wireless AP's show up as being protected with WEP, even though most of them probably use WPA, including myself. If I knew that, I could include another stratus of a noob vs. the ones with some flavor of a clue rating... while I've never done such a thing before, I have read that it is extremely easy to break through WEP encryption. If you look around at AstaLaVista.com, you will probably find a tool to do just that for you in less than 5 minutes. So basically you can count the WEP protected AP's together with the unprotected AP's. It's the same thing in regards to outside accessibility with some knowledge.

f0dder

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2006, 09:12:29 AM »
If you look through astalavista, you'll get infected by a zombie ddos network within a few minutes :) - but yes, WEP is supposedly breakable within five minutes.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2006, 09:57:39 AM »
Troible is not all devices support WPA ... I have a linksys network (with a change of SSID!!) and have to use WEP as I need a signal booster in the system and couldn't find one that supports WPA. Linksys are not interested in producing firmware updates - I had enough problems finding one that would work with my ADSL Router.

moerl

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2006, 06:22:23 PM »
Of course not all devices support WPA. Especially older ones. I was just saying that I find it strange Netstumbler lists ALL protected WLAN's as WEP-protected, when I know exactly that most of them are WPA protected, that's all.
Linksys does provide firmware updates here and then.. they just udpated the firmware for part of their product range last week or so. Linksysinfo.org is a great site for info on all things Linksys. I currently am running custom 3rd party firmware on my Linksys WRT54GS.

housetier

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2006, 10:33:48 PM »
My friend and I don't have any wireless equipment in our apartment. When we moved in we discussed how we were going to set up our LAN. Since he was using copper-bound ethernet at work and just had rolled a major upgrade of that network's capacity, we went for good ole cable as well. So far is has paid off very well: our network is fast, reliable and superquick to extend when friends come over with their laptops.

Yes, sometimes it were nice to have wireless access, if only for making it easier to "relocate" our computers. However we don't regard this is as a tradeoff since we value security much higher than comfort and we both know so much more about ethernet than about wireless.

To make a boring story short: unless wireless networks can easily be secured (and I mean secured, not just pretended protection) I will not consider it when setting up networks.

moerl

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2006, 11:57:18 PM »
My friend and I don't have any wireless equipment in our apartment. When we moved in we discussed how we were going to set up our LAN. Since he was using copper-bound ethernet at work and just had rolled a major upgrade of that network's capacity, we went for good ole cable as well. So far is has paid off very well: our network is fast, reliable and superquick to extend when friends come over with their laptops.

Yes, sometimes it were nice to have wireless access, if only for making it easier to "relocate" our computers. However we don't regard this is as a tradeoff since we value security much higher than comfort and we both know so much more about ethernet than about wireless.

To make a boring story short: unless wireless networks can easily be secured (and I mean secured, not just pretended protection) I will not consider it when setting up networks.
They can easily be secured ;)

housetier

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2006, 12:03:06 AM »
so you say, so I heard. But I also heard Windows was a good operating system...

I think in a few years it will be easier to set up wireless networks, even on the spot; and also to do so securely. The time is not now, however.

moerl

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2006, 12:35:06 AM »
So you say, so you think, but there really is no reason to be so scared of wireless networks. Apparently, the AEP encryption method has never been cracked before, ever, and that's what most people who have a clue about WLAN's today use to secure their wireless networks (WPA with AEP/TKIP). I also happen to think that Windows is a good operating system. Now, that isn't to say that it is flawless. Obviously, it's far from flawless and has its problems, just like any other OS. Ok, perhaps Windows has a few more problems than other OSes out there... ;), but if you know what you're doing, once more, and you're used to Windows, it is very stable and will work reliably for a long time. At least that has been my experience over the years.

Today and perhaps for years already, it has been easy to set up wireless networks, on the spot, and securely. It may be a matter of opinion, and I invite anyone with an opinion on this to step in and voice it because I am curious about what others think about this issue.

jgpaiva

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2006, 04:32:36 AM »
I am all for wirelass lans!
No doubts about it.
Since i got my wireless router here at home, i can't use cables anymore.
Less speed? Yes, it's slower, but it fits my needs, i don't download torrents and such, but for the other things (gaming, surfing and downloading from ftp/http), it's very stable and very confortable.
I hate having cables all around, i'm even thinking of getting myself a wireless keyboard.
I don't like to walk into a room and have to either step on a bunch of cables spread through the floor, or have to be jumping around to to step on them.
My friends here at home use cable, because they are constantly downloading stuff from torrents, and feel that ethernet is better for them. I hate that idea.
At my parents' , i have to use ethernet, and i constantly miss my wireless router.
I mean, not having to have cables all around, being able to take the laptop anywhere in the house (with wireless, i can wake up in my bedroom and have internet, without needing some 30-meter-long cable spread through my corridor.
About the security issues, i'm not that afraid. I can't use wpa :( because my router doesn't support it, but i have wep, and i feel quite secure since there's only one more wireless network on my area.

f0dder

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2006, 04:37:24 AM »
The windows kernel is superior to the linux kernel, period. What drags windows down is the usermode software, the win32 API, and third-party driver developers that produce unstable crap. But even with all windows' flaws, it's still superior to the majority of people, simply because you don't need to mess around just to get everyday jobs done. </anti-gpl fascist rant>

As long as you get a decent access point, setting up wireless shouldn't really be much of a hassle (unless there's other very strong-signal AP's in the neighbourhood). Most stuff that's worth anything today comes with at least WPA-PSK, which seems pretty decent. Just stay away from WEP and friends.
- carpe noctem

f0dder

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Re: Unprotected Wireless Lans?
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2006, 04:39:13 AM »
[...] I can't use wpa :( because my router doesn't support it, but i have wep, and i feel quite secure since there's only one more wireless network on my area.

WEP passwords can be bruteforced in a reasonable amount of time... but you don't even have to do that to gain access, afaik... Something about packet injection that I haven't bothered to look into.
- carpe noctem