Questions

Can wireless (in my home) be broken in to.

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Can wireless (in my home) be broken in to.

dickerson_gini
My brother has cables running everywere in the house cause he is scared to use wireless. He thinks someone will break into his computer and take his files or what ever he has on his computer if he has wireless internet. My question is this
1.Can someone break in to your wireless network
2. can they take your files
3. can they control your computer
4 how long would it take then to hack the secure code.

I set up wireless for my self in the house cause I have a laptop. not a desktop.
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OH Smeg
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1.Can someone break in to your wireless network

Yes depending on the locality and building material of the house anyone within a 500 metres radius could break into the WiFi in your house.

2. can they take your files

Yes they can but more importantly they can download material that you are held responsible for. Things like Kiddy Porn or Terrorist Material can be downloaded through your WiFi Connection and the authorities will consider the owner of that ISP Connection responsible for the download.

3. can they control your computer

Depends on what OS you are using and how secure it is. But if you are talking any Windows System then the answer is most defiantly yes.

4 how long would it take then to hack the secure code.

If you mean WPA2 under 10 seconds if the person involved knew what it is that they are doing. If they do not know it will take longer. If you do not run WPA2 it can take considerably less time and if you have not changed the Password on the WiFi Access Point anyone could enter it's URL and be in within a few seconds.

Col

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Slayer_
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Didn't know WPA2 was cracked already.

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gechurch
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WPA2 isn't cracked (as far as I know). It's proven to be very solid.

When an easily guessed password is used though it takes seconds to crack by taking a network trace and using a dictionary attack against it. If you use a decent password (nothing common, no words backwards or forwards etc) then it takes exponentially longer to hack... in weeks, months or years instead of seconds.

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gechurch
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The other weakness is WPA - many modern routers include that, and there are only about 11,000 possible combinations. Once you've brute-forced that, the router will dole out the password in plan text right to you. (This of course isn't a weakness of WPA2 - it totally circumvents it).

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Slayer_
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I think when I get home I am going to do this as well. But you can set your router up to only allow specific MAC addresses to connect.

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GSG
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I do both WPA2 and MAC filtering. It's a pain when I want to set up a new device, but I'd rather go through the hassle than to have an open network.

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gechurch
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Unfortunately MAC filtering doesn't help against a hack attempt. The network trace hackers use will show the MAC address of authorized devices, which can then be easily spoofed.

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mjd420nova
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All of the above. There are things you can do to make the infiltrators access harder to achieve their goals. One is the MAC address filtering but even that isn't that secure as the address can be spoofed. One way to limit outside access is to insure none of your WIFI signal leaves the premises. Working with a laptop outside the home could identify signal levels and changing position of the router and its antenna(s) can create usable signals within the home but not outside. Some signal peaking areas can be reduced with grounded foils to block signals in certain directions but this can also inscrease the signal in others and is all variable depending on the environment, wall insulation, wiring and innumerable other variables.

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TRgscratch
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if your brother has "wires running all over his house", but has a wireless-capable router and not disabled the wireless connectivity in it, then he is vulnerable as several posters have noted.

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Charles Bundy
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we at Techrepublic do not encourage or respond with info on how to hack systems.

It seems like a line is being crossed here (or at least fast approaching.)