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Thread: Is Wireless more secure than wire one?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Is Wireless more secure than wire one?

    I've been reading one article mentioned that Wireless is more secure than wire one. But is that easy for hacker to hack our system via wireless (what i mean here is home wireless), hacker maybe our neighbour just get the wireless modem and he ready to hack our line, because we wont know who is going to use our line. - This is my thought as I'm still weak in Computer Security.

    In the article that I read, I'm not really understood, because there's a lot of jargons.


  2. #2
    I would say wireless is less secure... Its vulnerable to all the same attacks as wired, plus wap cracking, mac spoofing, wardriving. Link the article if you can.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    If you are asking whether you are more prone to exploits and security compromise attempts as a result of going wireless rather than wired, its a two way street. Packet sniffing depends on the setup of either, I.E. it is easier to sniff off a hub rather than a switched environment. If you take proper precautions though with wireless, you shoud be fine. In my experience, the most common thing is people choosing weak WEP keys, or not putting a password on their Access points. The best thing you can do is pick a strong WEP key and use MAC address filtering, while still spoof-able, it makes it a little harder for people to freeload off your network. Hope this helps.
    (kr5kernel at hotmail dot com)
    Linux: Making Penguins Cool Since 1994.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    JohnHACK, do me a favor and just unplug your computer
    that could possibly be one of the worst questions ever

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    JohnHACK - Please link to this article. It might be talking of some special cases, but it would greatly help the discussion if you would post the link.

    I'd say that spoofing a MAC address is equally easy in a wired and wireless network (LAN). For example, my MAC address is 00-00-00-00-00-69. I could change it to any value if I felt like it, but I just decided to use that one. It helps me get lower IP #'s from most DHCP servers

    The issues I see that can make Wireless less secure than a Wired network is that you can't acturally "see" if someone is connected who isn't supposed to be. In a Wired network, it is as simple as tracing that extra CAT-5 cable to the offending PC. (It can be a pain in huge networks, but the home network is pretty easy to do this in) In a Wireless network, you can't see the radio waves with your eyes, so it is only possible to look for suspecious things within 100m of your house. In some corporate networks, with special hardware and software, it is possible to acturally detect where a Wireless connection is originating from in a building.

    So this article either talks of some special cases, or is wrong. You can take steps to secure both, but since Wireless is open by nature, on unregulated frequencies, and anyone can listen for it, I'd say that it is inherantly more insecure than wireless. Especially considering that (for the average home wireless network) anyone who has that WEP key (or is otherwise authorized) can listen to all of the data, kinda like the days before Switched Ethernet... So I agree with your conclusion that wireless is less secure, although I'd love to see this article that says otherwise so I can learn why.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    If you're talking about a home network (ONE switch a router and a few computers) a reason I could think off why a wireless network is called "more secure" is because usually all the traffic is encrypted. While it is "easier" to tap in a wireless network with some basic tools the data sent across the connection is safer. If someone taps in to a wired network somehow the data is less safe, because the data usually isn't encrypted. Of course there's alot of instances next to this to be met and a zillion exception etc etc, but usually home users don't bother about fancy anti-haxoring ****... That's just an idea of what the article could be on about.
    Double Dutch

  7. #7
    Well it all depends really..

    I think the mitigating factors in security on wireless based networks versus wired networks, or possibly even a hybrid network topology, is the data flow and data content. The data flow in a wireless network is quite spherical or pyrimidical in nature, depending on what you use as your transmitters. Wired networks have a path they must go by, unlike wireless networks with a tendency to go the extra length with there radio waves. Data content, in this case i'm reffering to not only _how_ you get and receive data, but it's properties, whether they be encrypted, compressed, mangled etc etc. You can only go so far with encryption and compression before someone figures out your game. Heck WEP has been cracked and is now one of the easiest wireless encryptions to find a decryption algorithm for. Wired, has minimal encryption at the beginning if any depending on your methods, and possibly minimal compression. The advantage of wired as far as security goes, is more of a question of data flow, in that why is wireless worse off. Wireless is worse off because of the publics inability to comply with common sense and technological details, in short the public hasn't been exposed to wireless so there is a very strong weakness. Some people don't set up there AP's right so there sending the signal with about 2x the amplitude needed. Thats why alot of you have been able to(i'm assuming you have before), wardrive. The inability for understanding of the technology and it's details, leads to misuse and bad judgement. Why just today I was walking down the street, I found 10 AP's I could connect to, they didn't even have WEP set up..I thought that quite humerous since alot of the distro's of AP's have WEP turned on by default. Now, beyond missunderstanding, what is understood? Well, wired is understood. Wireless if fairly new to many people, they don't understand it..wired, however, has been around for many years.

    So the bottom line now is, at the question of whether or not wireless or wired networks are more secure or not, it depends on who is running them. The AP's I found were owned by very stupid people that didn't think of security. However I moved down a block to a friends house that I _knew_ had a wireless network setup, I had to come within an inch of his house to do anything, and even then he had extremely tight security..he knew what he was doing.

    Now that thats settled, I would have to say that wireless is less secure _if_ you don't set it up correctly. And even then it's extremely vulnerable, we don't yet have all of the much needed tools for wireless, but were getting there. So at the present time I would have to say Wired networks are more secure. Simply because there is no issue of someone driving around and scoping out your poorly configured AP, you say "Hmm...I thought I set it to only amplify to 10 meters....", well if it's are you supposed to know? Many people don't know how to figure these things out. With wired networks you have a path to go through, there is no un-needed data flowing through the air.
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  8. #8
    Wow...nice grammar skills almost looks like text book fashion!

    I guess I'll throw in a 2-3 word quips.

    Originally posted
    here by Soda_Popinsky

    I would say wireless is less secure.....
    Actually, wireless can be very secure "line of site" DoD applies that I believe.

  9. #9
    In the article that I read, I'm not really understood, because there's a lot of jargons.
    And because of that, I understand why a few of the above answers may be confusing, even if they are very very good answers.

    Allow me to explain it a bit for you in softer terms. You see, think of the security of wireless internet like throwing a baseball around in the air. You and a friend are playing catch one day, and some random person grabs the ball out from the middle of the air, and runs off with it.

    In that same way, your information is going back and forth through the air, just waiting for a computer to reach up and listen to all of your data. Sometimes you can configure the wireless internet to be encrypted (like giving the baseball a harder shell, or putting it in a metal container to protect it), and that does make it a bit more secure. However, eventually it can be broken, and like the baseball in the metal shell, the information will be wide open.

    However, when used in a normal wired internet, things get complicated. Imagine a slide at a city park, the kind where you climb up the latter and then slide down the slide part of it. You start at the top, and because the slide makes you go a certain direction, you can only follow it. The man running across the park can't grab you out of the air, because you are contained safley within that little slide tube, until you come out.

    In that same way, a wired connection is data being transmitted from one computer directly to the next, no questions asked. In order to actually get the information being transmitted, you either have to wait for it to come out one of the ends (like on the slide) to grab it after it leaves the tube, or cut open the slide and add a new part of the slide just for yourself that makes the kid slide a different way rather than out the normal end. The same applies to information, as someone would have to wait for another computer to receive it before getting it, or place their computer between the two computers talking to one another and make the information come to him instead of the other computer.

    It can get much much more complicated than that, but that is the easiest way to understand it. Wired is less secure because anyone can grab it anywhere (in a sense) rather than be forced to wait for a computer to get it and then try to break into that computer to get the data.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    man i thought i could'nt spell. I could'nt understand half of what you wrote

    did you meen that some one that has a wireless router just like yours could pick up the signall

    no offence but can you write the Quistion again ,so that i can help you

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