March 28th, 2005, 10:31 PM
Basics of Wireless Security...
Due to the high volume of recent request I decided to post this little checklist that I made for some of my customers and friends. I hope you all find it useful.
Basic Wireless Security:
Should be done:
- DO NOT use the default SSID
- DO NOT broadcast SSID
- Change the administrator Username/Password for your router
- Use WEP or WPA (if available on your router)
- Use MAC filtering if possible
- Limit the number of DHCP assigned IP address (or use static IP)
- Block ALL unassigned IP addresses
- Turn off default shares on the computer, set permissions for files that need to be shared.
- Turn off Printer sharing if it is not needed.
Optional: (not so basic)
- Limit broadcast range
- Use rotating WEPS
- When assigning IP addresses use class A or B IP’s and a class C subnet (sort of a Security through Obscurity technique against people scanning for active IP’s)
- Use a form of data encryption during transfers
- Rotate assigned IP addresses
In addition to these wireless security percussions that must be taken you must also remember to:
- Keep your operating system fully updated.
- Be sure to update your antivirus program
- Use Strong passwords (a good password should be at least 8 characters long, contain both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters)
- Change your password every few months
- DO NOT use standard passwords (i.e. the same password for everything)
- Be careful what you download
- Use a program such as Ad-aware, or Spybot search & destroy to help control adware/spyware
- Use a firewall, there are many free software firewalls available.
March 30th, 2005, 08:36 AM
The above post is actually going to be published ina local newspaper, and I was asked to include a glossary of some of the terms and acronyms. So here is the one I am attaching. It is made for NEW/ORDINARY NON-TECH users, so the definitions are VERY basic. But I figured I would add it here as well, just becasue I know we have alot of new comers, so I hope this helps some.
WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy. An encryption method used on the 802.11 standard wireless equipment.
WPA –Wifi Protected Access – A more advanced method of data encryption which is both more secure, and inherently harder to defeat. Used on newer wireless technology instead of WEP
SSID – Service Set Identifier – a unique identifier attached to all packets sent over a wireless network, used to distinguish one wireless network from another.
IP Address – Internet Protocol address – unique identifying number on a network, sort of like a street address for your computer.
DHCP – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol – a method for assigning dynamic IP addresses as opposed to Static IP addresses, simplifies IP assignments, and provides some extra security because the address of your computer is changing, but makes it harder to monitor activity on a given IP address because it can change who it is assigned to.
Static IP addresses – A set IP address for each computer on a network. Provides for easier management and monitoring of network activities.
MAC address – Media Access Control – A unique Identifier for every piece of hardware produced. By creating a list of the MAC addresses of the Network Interface Cards (NICs) on your network, you can prevent unwanted computers from gaining access to your network.
Broadcast Range – The distance the signal from your wireless access point can travel. Some higher end Access Points will allow you to change this, also the use of higher powered antennas will increase this distance if you wish to make the signal more widely available.
Strong Password/Passphrase – Created by using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters rather than just letters (i.e. instead of using “password” use “P@ssW0rd!” It makes it much harder to guess, and protects you against Dictionary based Password crackers, and significantly increases the time it takes to use a “brute force” method of password cracking (running through every single combination of letters, numbers, and special characters on the keyboard)
Firewall – A software or hardware defense method which blocks out unwanted traffic (such as viruses, adware, and hackers) from accessing your computer or network.
Please keep in mind that these are VERY BASIC definitions, and were created as a reference for the COMMON/NEW USERS.
April 30th, 2005, 01:34 AM
You should publish in the local newpaper in OC, US. There is tons of open wireless access points broadcast openly. I do not have to pay for internet because of the availability of them at office and apartment complexes.
May 6th, 2005, 08:09 PM
OK so now we know how to lock down the box, and what the terms are. Now how do we make sure our security is working?
Wireless intrusions detection:
Even the best security can be cracked. So for further protection monitoring your network is generally a good idea. There are many free tools out there to help you with this. The tools use different methods to help you, so take a look at them and figure out which you would like to use.
Yes, you read that right; your router will be the first tool you can use. Many wireless routers allow you to see what IP addresses are leased out and to whom. If you are using static IP addresses then just only allow your addresses. And be sure to turn on logging, that way you can see who tries to connect.
AirSnare - http://home.comcast.net/~jay.deboer/airsnare/
AirSnare is a wireless intrusion detection program that will detect and notify you of unknown/unfriendly MAC addresses if and when they try to gain access to your network.
Ethereal - http://www.ethereal.com/
Ethereal is a network protocol analyzer (packet sniffer). It will let you monitor all traffic on your network, and includes a source and destination IP for all packets that are captured. With a few simple filters you can set it to not show traffic from known IP addresses (the ones you set on your computers) and anything unknown will show up.
Programs like Snort, Network Sniffer, and airsnort can accomplish this also
Angry IP scanner - http://www.angryziber.com/ipscan/
Angry IP scanner does just what its name says, it scans IP addresses. So set the range for your subnet, set the option to scan for open ports that probably will be open because any decent fire wall will block a ping. (I scan for ports 135, 139, 445, 5900, and 3389) Be sure to set it to continue scanning ports on “dead” machines, or else when the box doesn’t respond to ping it wont scan them. (This can also be done with Cain & Able, nmap, and any other IP scanner)
May 19th, 2005, 06:45 AM
This seemingly common sense checklist should be posted everywhere, and included with all wireless products in my opinion. I recently worked on a wireless network for a mental health facility that left a router and AP's at default values save for what was needed to make it work. No WEP no nothing, wide open. To make matters worse they had patient records shared. I pulled up to the place and opened my notebook and checked it out before I even walked in. The average person does not think of any of those things listed on that checklist. It just blows my mind... Anyway, just thought I would give my little bit of a story since it is on the same topic.
If it weren\'t for my horse I never would have spent that year in college.
August 30th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Just a thought added on...maybe some big named news station or paper should release something like this....make it obvious to the general public that they are pretty damn stupid and aren't as safe as they would all like to believe.
Forever hostile against all forms of tyranny on the minds of man.
August 30th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Most people arent stupid, they just believe it when future shop tells them it wont be a security issue. Its not stupidity, its being naieve. The general public doesnt know much about pc's in general, other then how to use microsoft office, so when they by something, they expect it to work out of the box.
For most wired routers its not as big of a deal, but wireless opens a whole slew of holes IMO.
February 3rd, 2006, 04:18 AM
Hey, i just joined the forum cuz im lookin to get more secure myself....my names Nikki, and even though im sure all of you are way up there on the security level i thought i would list some things for wireless lans...for some of my tools i chose were Kismet, Wellenreiter but if you are into windows like me you might like NetStumbler for AP discovery and enumeration, client management software like Orinoco's, Wildpackets, and LANguard security scanner www.gfi.com....cya
February 28th, 2007, 02:46 AM
i have a question. here goes. i have a wireless network adapter not a router and im near someone who does have a router but i dont know who. windows says it is an unsecure network and things may been seen by others on this network. am i safe on this network if i have comodo firewall and windows defender or am i a sitting duck? please help me. cause if im a sitting duck then im highly screwed. thanks
February 28th, 2007, 10:54 AM
chaosclown, firewalls only control what traffic goes in and out. So, firewalls WILL help but you have to remember that ANY traffic that does get through the firewall is then transmitted to everyone in a 100m radius depending on router strength and wall thickness etc etc.
So, everything you post/read on here can be read by anyone else nearby if they so choose. Your online banking should still be safe since its encrypted 128bit anyway by the browser.
Bottom line, anything you can do on this unsecured network anyone else can see you doing with the right hardware/software.
If the world doesn't stop annoying me I will name my kids ";DROP DATABASE;" and get revenge.