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

    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_

    Didn't know WPA2 was cracked already.

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    gechurch

    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

    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_

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.)

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    OH Smeg

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

    I don't see how. There is no data on how to perform the hack just a question of is it possible. The answer most defiantly is Yes it is possible.

    Col

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    ericson007

    If you have some hardware lying around. A good way of protecting the wifi a little more is to run it behind a firewall. Also before having access to the net to have a captive portal to authenticate through, if possible also WPA 2 - Enterprise. Not really likely to keep out someone really determined, however, it will beat almost certainly 99.9% of the script kiddies.

    Your brother is a very smart man though. With the ever increasing speeds of ISP services, I do not understand why you want wireless. At home here I have a 1gbps up/down fiber connection. Connecting to that with a wireless device loosing 480 mpbs on my last test, I would rather just stick with wire as well. Ever tried CIFS shares from a cheap non enterprise NAS over wireless. It's a dog, not that it is the fastest protocol ever, but wire does help data move along.

    Especially in the U.S. where walls are generally dry wall. Cutting away, pulling wire and fitting a wall cat 6 plug is not that difficult and really increases the neat factor.

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    -gargravarr-

    As with any password mechanism, choose strong passwords, If you're going to use WiFi in the home use WPA2-PSK there isn't another choice at the moment. choose long complicated passwords >30 characters long. Yep, its a pain to put in but how paranoid are you going to be in a home environment.
    Setup WPA2 - enterprise with a short key rotation.
    Setup an IPSEC tunnel over the wireless network.

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    Worth2Cents

    Perhaps he was thinking about WEP.

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    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

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Didn't know WPA2 was cracked already.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    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).

    +
    2 Votes
    Slayer_

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    GSG

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    mjd420nova

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    TRgscratch

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    Charles Bundy

    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.)

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

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

    I don't see how. There is no data on how to perform the hack just a question of is it possible. The answer most defiantly is Yes it is possible.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    ericson007

    If you have some hardware lying around. A good way of protecting the wifi a little more is to run it behind a firewall. Also before having access to the net to have a captive portal to authenticate through, if possible also WPA 2 - Enterprise. Not really likely to keep out someone really determined, however, it will beat almost certainly 99.9% of the script kiddies.

    Your brother is a very smart man though. With the ever increasing speeds of ISP services, I do not understand why you want wireless. At home here I have a 1gbps up/down fiber connection. Connecting to that with a wireless device loosing 480 mpbs on my last test, I would rather just stick with wire as well. Ever tried CIFS shares from a cheap non enterprise NAS over wireless. It's a dog, not that it is the fastest protocol ever, but wire does help data move along.

    Especially in the U.S. where walls are generally dry wall. Cutting away, pulling wire and fitting a wall cat 6 plug is not that difficult and really increases the neat factor.

    +
    0 Votes
    -gargravarr-

    As with any password mechanism, choose strong passwords, If you're going to use WiFi in the home use WPA2-PSK there isn't another choice at the moment. choose long complicated passwords >30 characters long. Yep, its a pain to put in but how paranoid are you going to be in a home environment.
    Setup WPA2 - enterprise with a short key rotation.
    Setup an IPSEC tunnel over the wireless network.

    +
    0 Votes
    Worth2Cents

    Perhaps he was thinking about WEP.