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Just when you thought spyware was the problem - Wardriving

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colinc

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Reading the thread about spyware prompted me to throw this into the pot.

Just to sound the alarm further for people that use wireless networks at home (or work) start to think seriously about security. The new pastime of 'wardriving' is catching on. Basically the game is to drive around and see whose networks you can find and get in to. The opportunities for mischief abound. There are people driving around with laptops, gps and aerials made from bean cans in your area!

Anyone with a wireless lan might try downloading Netstumbler - you may be amazed how many other lans your pc can see. You can immediately find what hardware they're using, if they're encrypting the data etc. As you know the device and can easily lookup it's default password (which most don't get around to changing), you're in if you want to be as easy as pie.

an excellent article:
http://www.webpronews.com/it/security/w ... entIt.html

for the program: http://www.stumbler.net/

a good intro: http://www.bitshift.org/wardriving.shtml

and, just to prove the bean can comment: http://www.geocities.com/lincomatic/homebrewant.html

if your interest goes past that lot just type wardriving into google.

So if you have a wireless lan; change the default admin password (but write it down) and encrypt the data and the cross your fingers for luck - otherwise who knows what your temporary neighbour might be downloading via your account and which court that can lead you to.

regards

Colin
 
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Anonymous

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You don't need any software like 'netstumbler' to detect neighbours wlans - the site survey tool in your wireless card configuration tool will do that.

The thread from a while back on this forum about wireless lans contains all the information needed to prevent unauthorised access to your wireless lan.

At the end of the day, wardriving is old old old news
 

colinc

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I agree completely that it's old news, like viruses and spyware - but, in my experience at least, not as well known.
 
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Anonymous

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I have installed and used wireless here. Gave up and went back to hardwired not long after, didn't seem to work all that well for us.

My understanding of wireless is somewhat limited, but I believe that its security isn't very good. Which is a shame because with the software and technology that is available today one would have thought the magicians who design these systems would have found a bulletproof way of carrying out wireless conversations, the same as someone had to find a way to transact secure business over the Internet.

I expect part of these problem is that the various manufacturers can't agree on the specification. Rome is burning whilst they hold a committee meeting about which fire engine to send out.

Andrew
 

Midnight

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software that actually did what it's sposed to.. safely.. securely.. straight outa the box..??? Never gonna happen... how else do they persuade you that ya NEED the next rev of the software that would release ohhhhh so much more potential... if only ya had the latest hardware.. which needs more software that's shot fulla bugs...et al...

me..? cynical...????

HA...

<pineappled cos I lost 4 freakin hours uninstallin / reinstallin Norton this afternoon....
 
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Anonymous

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Wi-Fi networking does, actually, do exactly what it says on the tin, straight out of the box. Does it do it securely? No. But that's not the fault of the manufacturers - that's the fault of the ignorant cyber-pups whose idea of fun is hacking other people's systems. Do you need an upgrade to make wi-fi work securely? No, it's just a matter of configuration.

Aha, I hear you say - point proved. OK - when did you last buy a car with the seat set exactly how you want it? Or the mirrors? Just a matter of configuration - just cos it's one's software, and t'others a mechanical lever doesn't mean they're both not configuration.

For HandyMac - in fact, wireless protocols are governed by a standards body, the IETF, and it's them, not the manufacturers, that define security standards (along with everything else). The only caveat to that is wireless g, where the IETF were so slow defining the standards that the manufacturers HAD to get together to agree a standard. This they did, very quickly, and very effective that standard is too.
 

mahking51

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Could one of you IT whizzkids please post an abc idiots guide to changing the password and encrypting the wirless thingy in my laptop (XP Pro).
Just found out my neighbours eldest is picking it up next door and using it! I use it all round the house and very handy it is too.
Regards
Martin
 
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Anonymous

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HandyMac":10rqi4o1 said:
I have installed and used wireless here. Gave up and went back to hardwired not long after, didn't seem to work all that well for us.
Andrew
Had exactly the same experience here Andrew. Although I am ( in all modesty) extremely computer literate, have built many hundreds over a 16 year period and regularly fix them for people, neither I nor our network manager at work could get the thing to work very well at all :cry:
 

Midnight

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OK - when did you last buy a car with the seat set exactly how you want it? Or the mirrors? Just a matter of configuration - just cos it's one's software, and t'others a mechanical lever doesn't mean they're both not configuration.
I canna claim to have Tony's experience in building these things, but with build numbers in the mid 40's I can claim a wee bit o familiarity... cynicism's been beaten into me, taking the place of ignorant optimism...
Back in the days when I started messing with these things, when you bought hardware or software, part of the bundle was a comprehensive manual that Joe Normal could make sense of... Bear in mind, I'm going back pre internet here... yea yea I know I'm showing my age.. ;P

Likewise with cars.. says he getting back to your point.. For my own vehicle I've a factory parts list, factory accessories list, factory workshop manual; between them I can fully disassemble the vehicle, check and inspect every component, replace as necessary using manufacturers stock numbers, rebuild...resetting variables to factory spec to hopefully end up with something that's rugged and reliable; it is a Landrover afterall..

Thesedays... hardware suppliers feel grieved if you ask for a drivers disk, much less a manual. Manual for software.?? Don't I wish...

My point is that irrespective of what the intnl standards are, hardware, software and protocols alike are only as good to the end user as their documentation... and it's been my (limited admittedly) experience that that documentation leaves a lot to be desired....
 

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