Preventing illegal access to Wireless LAN

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Heringbone, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Heringbone

    Heringbone Guest

    I have just installed a wireless/router/modem with one computer on a
    wireless link and the other direct on a USB cable from the router. It is an
    Origo router.

    Can any neighbour use my router to get on the internet? If so how do I
    prevent it?

    Heringbone, Aug 22, 2004
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  2. Heringbone

    Albrow SJ Guest

    Its not illegal to use a wifi connection that is publicly avaliable unless
    security has been broken.
    Turn on WEP Encryption that should be standard, ensuring that you don't just
    use the standard password settings.

    This should be detailed in the manual.

    Albrow SJ, Aug 22, 2004
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  3. Then set your router to only accept connections from MAC addresses of the
    hardware you have, and nothing else
    Graham in Melton, Aug 22, 2004
  4. MAC address filtering is a waste of time. For the average user they are an
    inconvienience and for those with knowledge, easily spoofed.

    Greg Hennessy, Aug 22, 2004
  5. Heringbone

    Edward Guest

    why easily spoofed? Use MAC filtering myself.
    Edward, Aug 22, 2004
  6. Its trivial to sniff the connection and find out what valid MACs are

    Encrypting the traffic with WEP > 40bits, WPA-PSK, or authenticated logon
    using something like 802.1x is far more secure.

    Here on my home brew AP I use PPTP and

    Greg Hennessy, Aug 22, 2004
  7. Heringbone

    Linker3000 Guest

    Sorry, not so...

    Under Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990:

    1. A person is guilty of an offence if
    * he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to
    secure access to any program or data held in any computer
    * the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and
    * he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform
    the function that this is the case
    2. The intent a person has to have to commit an offence under this
    section need not be directed at
    * any particular program or data
    * a program or data of any particular kind; or
    * a program or data in any particular computer

    In a nutshell, if you know that you are not authorised to use a computer
    system then it *IS* an offence regardless of whether you broke through
    any security to gain ('secure') the access.

    To answer the OP's question: using WEP encryption would be better than
    no security, WPA would be even better. Having the Wireless Access Point
    not broadcast its SSID would also help.

    The best way forward, of course, is to assume that whatever you do you
    will never be 100% secure.
    Linker3000, Aug 22, 2004
  8. Heringbone

    Paul Cummins Guest

    So how do you know if a network with no security is 'open' or 'closed'?

    IOW, how do you know the intention of the owner _before_ accessing the
    Paul Cummins, Aug 22, 2004
  9. Heringbone

    Albrow SJ Guest

    Yes I know, I wondered how long it would take.

    However: there are many computers \ wificards that will simply pick up a
    wifi connection if avaliable, and many (or at least some) that are
    intentionally open.

    It could be considered that it is not obvious that access is unauthorised if
    security is zilch. If wep was on with default settings however then it would
    be a different matter.

    There is also the issue that actually the person isn't securing access to a
    computer or any data by picking up a wireless access point automatically and
    browsing the net. Whilst technically this is no different to going in and
    seeing what data is avaliable on local computers, in practice the majority
    of people picking up open access points are unlikley to do anything bad,
    only use the internet through it.

    The fact that the law is rather ambiguious could be why there have (as I am
    aware) been very few convictions.

    True - its all relative, most of us don't have anything worth getting at on
    home networks, so discouraging casual browsing localls and free net access
    is probably enough.

    Albrow SJ, Aug 22, 2004
  10. Heringbone

    Black Shuck Guest

    While it's certainly not foolproof, it's another layer of security, it
    costs nothing to use, so it basically free. Use it, but don't rely in
    it by itself. Used in conjunction with WEP, and hiding of SSID,
    security will be just fine. If you are mega paranoid, change your WEP
    keys every couple of weeks.
    Black Shuck, Aug 22, 2004
  11. Heringbone

    Linker3000 Guest

    I know what you mean - but you might as well ask 'If I'm passing a house
    and I see the front door open and a wallet on the hall table how do I
    know whether the owner wants me to take it or not?'

    In practice, you don't know the intention of the network owner, so you

    On the flip side, if you have a system 'open to the world' that is not
    actually for public access then you'd be daft not to put up some sort of
    front page with a note!
    Linker3000, Aug 22, 2004
  12. Heringbone

    Linker3000 Guest

    Linker3000, Aug 22, 2004
  13. Heringbone

    Paul Cummins Guest

    BT Openzone is a secure network, but public access is encouraged...
    Paul Cummins, Aug 22, 2004
  14. Heringbone

    Martin Guest

    you're using term "illegal" can you tell us all what laws you think
    might be broken by someone utilizing a service you have publicly advertised?
    Martin, Aug 23, 2004
  15. Heringbone

    chris Guest

    : In a nutshell, if you know that you are not authorised to use a computer
    : system then it *IS* an offence regardless of whether you broke through
    : any security to gain ('secure') the access.
    Sorry, i've been charged under this act and you have no clue what you
    are talking about. As long as there are no 'you do not have permission
    to connect to this network' notices and you havent broken any
    encryptions/passwords to log on then you *ARE* authorised. It really
    isn't a case of 'my front door was open' so don't play that (WRONG)
    chris, Aug 23, 2004
  16. Heringbone

    Linker3000 Guest

    Provided you adhere to their terms and conditions and pay up! Try
    hacking through the front end and you are committing an offence.
    Linker3000, Aug 23, 2004
  17. : MAC address filtering is a waste of time. For the average user they are an
    : inconvienience and for those with knowledge, easily spoofed.

    Disagree totally! To just keep neighbours out (none of who I expect to have
    ANY hacking abaility) it's both easy to setup, no inconvenience whatsoever
    and works well!
    Brian McIlwrath, Aug 23, 2004
  18. Which properly configured encryption will do by default.
    It's pointless complication.

    Greg Hennessy, Aug 23, 2004
  19. Heringbone

    Simon Zerafa Guest

    Easy - Any property which is not yours, is not yours for the taking.

    If you see a wireless network which is open then don't assume it's free and
    you are allowed to use it.

    Ask permission first otherwise you are not authorised and could be then
    performing an illegal act :)
    Simon Zerafa, Aug 23, 2004
  20. Heringbone

    Chris Blunt Guest

    But its highly unlikely that the average 'next door neighbour' would
    have anything like that level of knowledge.

    Chris Blunt, Aug 23, 2004
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