What About Wireless Network Attackers ?

>> Saturday, December 05, 2009

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wardrivingWireless hacking, or "Wardriving" is when someone from outside your home accesses your wireless network. In most case it is because the victim doesn't have security enabled on their wireless access point. The dangers of having a non-secure wireless access-point are: Spammers can send junk mail from your home, hackers and criminals can hack remote locations that are tracked back to you, your confidential information is exposed to anyone that parks outside your home with a laptop. You may also suffer some liability because attacks were launched from your home by the bad guys. Here is a video of Joe and I as we drove around the local new station, showed them hundreds of open wireless networks in minutes. Wireless Hacking VideoListed below are 8 Tips to

Top 8 Tips for Wireless Home Network Security

1) Change Default Administrator Passwords (and Usernames)
Changing the default password is important because everyone that purchases the same Wireless access device, knows your password.

2) Turn on (Compatible) WPA / WEP Encryption

By default, your Wireless device comes without the encryption enables. WPA / WEP are security programs that forced your computer to provide an encrypted password before you are allowed access to the wireless access point.

3) Change the Default SSID

SSID is the network name of your wireless network; most people leave the default name, such as, Linksys or NetGear. By changing the name, intruders have a more difficult time identifying your system and use known vulnerabilities. (And of course, use the unchanged default password.) One mistake people make is naming their home network their family name and or address. When cruising a neighborhood of wireless devices, its always scary to see Smithfamily201Elm.

4) Disable SSID Broadcast

In Wi-Fi networking, the access point or router typically broadcasts the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature was designed for businesses and mobile hotspots where Wi-Fi clients may come and go. In the home, this feature is unnecessary, and it increases the likelihood an unwelcome neighbor or hacker will try to log in to your home network.

5) Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices

Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses. This means that the IP Address, (the IP Address is needed to participate on a network.) is typically assigned automatically. A dynamic IP address on an unsecure system can also supply a hacker with a IP Address.

6) Enable MAC Address Filtering

Each piece of Wi-Fi gear possesses a unique identifier called the "physical address" or "MAC address." Access points and routers keep track of the MAC addresses of all devices that connect to them. Many such products offer the owner an option to key in the MAC addresses of their home equipment that restricts the network to only allow connections from those devices. Do this, but also know that the feature is not so powerful as it may seem. Hacker software programs can fake MAC addresses easily.

7) Turn Off the Network During Extended Periods of Non-Use

The ultimate in security measures for any wireless network is to shut down, or turn office your wireless access point when you are not using. You are the most vulnerable at work or asleep, and mischief minded people know it.

8) Position the Router or Access Point Safely

Wi-Fi signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of "leakage" outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi signals often reach across streets and through neighboring homes. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the access point or router determines it's reach. Try to position these devices near the center of the home rather than near windows to minimize this leakage.

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