Author Topic: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals  (Read 5298 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FreewheelinFrank

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Ultra Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 4872
  • I'm a GNU
    • Don't Surf in the Nude!
Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« on: December 07, 2007, 12:07:11 PM »
Quote
IT security and control firm Sophos has revealed new research into the use of other people's Wi-Fi networks to piggyback onto the internet without payment. The research, carried out by Sophos on behalf of The Times, shows that 54 percent of computer users have admitted breaking the law, by using someone else's wireless internet access without permission.

According to Sophos, many internet-enabled homes fail to properly secure their wireless connection with passwords and encryption, allowing freeloading passers-by and neighbours to steal internet access rather than paying an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their own. In addition, while businesses often have security measures in place to protect the Wi-Fi networks within their offices from attack, Sophos experts note that remote users working from home could prove to be a weak link in corporate defenses.

"Stealing Wi-Fi internet access may feel like a victimless crime, but it deprives ISPs of revenue. Furthermore, if you've hopped onto your next door neighbors' wireless broadband connection to illegally download movies and music from the net, chances are that you are also slowing down their internet access and impacting on their download limit," explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "For this reason, most ISPs put a clause in their contracts ordering users not to share access with neighbours - but it's very hard for them to enforce this."

http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2007/11/wi-fi.html

Some of the advice for securing a network is contested in other places: two are apparently among "the six dumbest ways to secure a wireless LAN" and "Wireless security myths".

High gain antennas like the one below can be used to piggyback a Wi-Fi connection: a little bird tells me it's possible to point one in any direction in an urban area and find an unsecured network.  ::)





     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

Offline Lisandro

  • Avast team
  • Certainly Bot
  • *
  • Posts: 67203
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 12:48:15 PM »
It's so difficult to be protected and it's so technical reading... I give up... I don't have supersecret files to be protected...
The best things in life are free.

Offline FreewheelinFrank

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Ultra Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 4872
  • I'm a GNU
    • Don't Surf in the Nude!
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 02:15:41 PM »
Secure your network:

1) Access you router configuration page. This is usually done by entering an address in your browser. For Belkin routers, it's 192.168.2.1.

2) Click the security tab.

3) Select WPA2*.

4) Select 'Pre-shared key' and enter a key. For Belkin routers, it's a 10 character string of characters and numbers. Make it as random as possible, for example: 4Fj6vQ3aLc.

(AES seems to be the prefered encryption method, but TKIP also works.)

5) Save your settings and you're done.

Don't forget to change the router password to something secure.

(*WPA2 may require XP SP2 and a newish router. There is an alternative in WEP security which is less secure but better than nothing.)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 02:17:28 PM by FreewheelinFrank »
     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 87628
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 03:25:50 PM »
I don't doubt that in an urban environment there would be enough unsecured networks not to require having your own broadband connection.

Your average punter hasn't got a clue about securing his/her network, mainly because they don't know it is necessary, ignorance is bliss.

So until hardware (wireless modem/router) manufacturers incorporate this in the set-up process it will continue to be a problem with the weak default settings. Again your average user is ignorant of how to get into the router configuration page, so if it isn't in the initial set-up they may never find it later.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 23.4.6062 (build 23.4.8118.762) UI 1.0.762/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Lisandro

  • Avast team
  • Certainly Bot
  • *
  • Posts: 67203
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 06:31:19 PM »
Thanks Frank, the keyword is WPA2 instead of WEP when possible... I'll ask to the IT support at my work to take a look on it.
The best things in life are free.

micky77

  • Guest
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2007, 12:17:09 AM »
Hello, I've just installed/set up a wireless router/modem (all in one) for a neighbour.She can now, wireless, access the internet.However,I think it now needs securing.Am I right in thinking,I access the routers settings by entering 192.168.?? and set up a wep or wpa key.Most importantly,do i then access the wireless usb adaptor software, and enter the same key/number.Thanks for any advice
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 12:19:57 AM by micky77 »

Offline FreewheelinFrank

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Ultra Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 4872
  • I'm a GNU
    • Don't Surf in the Nude!
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 12:34:21 AM »
That's correct.

The actual address may vary according to your router. Consult the user guide or Google the router manufacturer and model.

Some common ones are listed here:

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/moredone/wirelesssetup.mspx#step3

Enter the same key on the wireless computer.
     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

micky77

  • Guest
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 01:22:17 AM »
Thanks FreewheelinFrank,will try that tomorrow.Off to me bed now. :)

Offline bob3160

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Probably Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 48017
  • 63 Years of Happiness
    • bob3160 Protecting Yourself, Your Computer and, Your Identity
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 02:48:30 AM »
You could also try Network Magic  :)
Free Security Seminar: https://bit.ly/bobg2023  -  Important: http://www.organdonor.gov/ -- My Web Site: http://bob3160.strikingly.com/ - Win 11 Pro v22H2 64bit, 16 Gig Ram, 1TB SSD, Avast Free 22.12, How to Successfully Install Avast http://goo.gl/VLXdeRepair & Clean Install https://goo.gl/t7aJGq -- My Online Activity https://bit.ly/BobGInternet

Offline .: Mac :.

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Ultra Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5093
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 07:05:18 AM »
Quote
(*WPA2 may require XP SP2 and a newish router. There is an alternative in WEP security which is less secure but better than nothing.)

WPA 2 Requires Mac OS X Panther 10.3.3 or better (Tiger and Leopard obviously also work)
Also if you are using the Apple Airport Base station you will need Firmware 4.2 or better

"People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware." - Alan Kay

Offline FreewheelinFrank

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Ultra Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 4872
  • I'm a GNU
    • Don't Surf in the Nude!
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2007, 09:19:10 AM »
Quote
(*WPA2 may require XP SP2 and a newish router. There is an alternative in WEP security which is less secure but better than nothing.)

WPA 2 Requires Mac OS X Panther 10.3.3 or better (Tiger and Leopard obviously also work)
Also if you are using the Apple Airport Base station you will need Firmware 4.2 or better



From my own experience, it also works on Ubuntu 7.10. Both an internal wireless card and an external USB adapter were recognised without a problem and WPA2 worked fine.
     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

micky77

  • Guest
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2007, 04:25:35 PM »
You could also try Network Magic  :)
Thanks for the link bob,unfortunately,I don't think that programme covers the Huawei Echolife 520 router/modem.Anyway,I have accessed the routers settings,chose wpa2,.entered new password,and pressed submit.( it wouldn't work wirelsessly,so I had to run a telephone extension lead). I then opened the netgear WG111v2 usb wireless adaptor,chose wpa2,entered same password,and all seems well.I have also changed the  routers default  password.All seems to have gone far better than expected,however,is there anyway to check the wireless connection is secure ? I expected a padlock symbol or something. Cheers :D

Offline FreewheelinFrank

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Ultra Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 4872
  • I'm a GNU
    • Don't Surf in the Nude!
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2007, 06:40:13 PM »
There may well be some sort of indication that the connection is encrypted: on my laptop there is a padlock symbol in the Intel wireless utility in Windows, but that's obviously a feature of the Intel software, and the Netgear software will differ. However, I'm pretty sure there should be something: it may say encrypted or password protected.
     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

timcan

  • Guest
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2007, 08:19:54 PM »
Hi, to add to FWF's reply you can open your network connections in the control panel and see if it's encrypted or not.Hope this helps,tim

micky77

  • Guest
Re: Wi-Fi piggybacking widespread, research reveals
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2007, 11:06:25 PM »
Thank you very much FWF, and Timcan,I really appreciate your input :D