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Man Charged With Stealing Wi-Fi Signal

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Richard King, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. n8dagr8

    n8dagr8 Resident Rounder DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Aug 14, 2004
    FYI - don't do this on a date/with the GF/with the wife. :D
     
  2. AllieVi

    AllieVi Hall Of Fame

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    I agree with Don. It's really a non-issue. When the SSID is broadcast, it's an invitation to use the network.

    Having said that, though, I think the router manufacturers should change the default setting to "not broadcast" the ID. Sort of like changing the default when you're leaving the car from "don't lock the doors" to "lock the doors." Let those who want to operate an open network actively choose that option.

    My wireless router is about 6 feet from my notebook, yet I still sometimes "see" neighboring network choices. I convinced my nearest (about 150') neighbor to stop broadcasting, so what I'm seeing is coming from farther away than that!
     
  3. CoriBright

    CoriBright Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    My neighbor's LaserJet 6 keeps appearing on my network!

    Last weekend I was in LA, we were in Denny's having breakfast and I had my notebook open, up popped the wireless network configurator and politely asked if I would like to connect to any of the three totally unsecured wirelesss networks it had found.

    So we connected to one, surfed the net, and my friends laughed when I complained that I must have found the slowest unsecured network in the west coast. I didn't break into anything, it was wide open.

    BTW no one has yet managed to get into my own wireless network.
     
  4. AllieVi

    AllieVi Hall Of Fame

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    Just curious... How would/could you know that?

    I know just enough about wireless to make mine work with encryption and MAC address filtering, but I've often wondered how I would know if someone actually penetrated my defenses and didn't do anything destructive.
     
  5. CoriBright

    CoriBright Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I check my router logs.
     
  6. Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

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    I was just going to post that. :) I usually check my log once a month if I remember. So far in nearly a year on my unsecured wireless network, 4 MAC addresses have been logged by my router, my 2 PCs, PDA and wireless print server.

    The one step I did take to somewhat secure my connection, besides not broadcasting the SSID and changing the default password/username on the config page was setting my router to G only, but after I got my PDA I had to go back to B/G.
     
  7. ntexasdude

    ntexasdude Hall Of Fame

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    I just got back from a brand new restaurant/sports bar in town. I noticed they had a sign by the main entrance the said something like "wireless high speed internet friendly". I know these places have been around for a while but it's the first time I've seen a sign for it. Heck, it might even help their business.

    The more I think about it, the sillier I think this case is. I'd really ike to know how it turns out. :)
     
  8. DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

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    More and more hotels are putting in various forms of wifi and wired highspeed internet to attract thr business traveler. Last month I discovered a Howard Johnsons, in the stick/swamp lands of Florida. It was a modern day oasis. The dining room had one of those wifi friendly signs and the hotel rooms Priced at $60 a night had wired ethernet with no surcharges, just hook up and log on. I will be needing to travel into that region more and more with my business so they will certainly get repeat from me! I asked at the desk and was told that Howard Johnsons around the nation are installing these to improve their business traffic. In the past I always found room ethernet service was only for $150+ a night rooms.
     
  9. Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

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    I'm surprised I haven't seen anything at McDonalds advertising their WayPort connections. Every McDonalds I've been to since I got my PDA has Wifi, but I believe it costs $3 for two hours or something like that. As soon as you launch IE you get redirected to the Buy Time page. But what's the point. Out of the 5 Micky Ds I circulate, at 4 of them I can also pick up an unsecured connection and surf for free. I’ve see WiFi hot spot signs at a few truck stops off of the NYS Thruway and the restaurant where my moms cousins 60th Birthday Party was held had free access but I didn’t see it advertised anywhere.

    While advertising that a bar/restaurant is a hot spot would make me think twice about which place to stop into, there are so many unsecured connections out there it’s a moot point for me.
     
  10. AllieVi

    AllieVi Hall Of Fame

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    An article I read recently (don't remember where) mentioned that some coffee-shop businesses are beginning to do away with or charge for access. They're finding that too many people order a drink and then park in their stores for hours. Meanwhile, other paying customers can't have a seat. Access brings the notebook users in, but unfortunately it keeps them there, too. Considerate users will place another order, of course, but the store owners aren't finding enough such customers.
     
  11. AllieVi

    AllieVi Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks for the reply. I probably should have known there would be a log...
     
  12. Doug E

    Doug E Legend

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    Jul 6, 2002
    I learned something tonight about how vulnerable my wi fi might be. Can anyone advise me how I can check my log? I have Linksys WRT54G router....

    Many thanks, Doug
     
  13. RichW

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Here in Portland, there are many, many free, open WiFi "hotspots" run by volunteers and businesses. I think that anyone who doesn't lock down a WiFi access point should be considered as providing a free service.
     
  14. ntexasdude

    ntexasdude Hall Of Fame

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    In Texas they are installing w-fi at the all the state parks and some roadside rest areas. Cool! :)
     
  15. n8dagr8

    n8dagr8 Resident Rounder DBSTalk Gold Club

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    One of the cities in Tx is installing WiFi all around the down town or something. I know Baton Rouge, LA has a large area of WiFi downtown.

    Free WiFi site
     
  16. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

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    I have my Wi-Fi to work with any available system in range. I really don't go into the setting to see which one I'm using. If I'm out and about and I lose service. It notifies me if I need to log on with a security pass word. If anyone illegally accesses by hacking, they should be punished. If a person is stupid enough to allow unrestricted access then they are just nice & generous or just plain stupid. If the authorities are involved, it was a hack job. Case closed.
     
  17. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

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    Iowa rest stops are all equipped with free access. We have one community in Iowa that is the test for providing access all through the business section. My town is one that is part of a group of communities exploring the possibilities. Of course the cable and telephone companies are protesting furiously.
     
  18. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    My broadband carrier specifically does not sell DSL Modems/Gateways with wireless capability because of how people don't lock down the access. I ended up purchasing my own gateway for Internet access.

    The main reason why I have wireless access at home is so that my mother's computer (which is located in another room) could use the broadband, and I didn't want to run a network cable. For the first three days, my access point was wide open until I could find time to lock it down. During that time, no freeloaders.

    Then, I tightened the screws. First thing: Turn off SSID broadcasting. Reasoning: If I don't advertise my presence, I won't get freeloaders.

    Second thing: Switch on 11g wireless only. If I read the specs correctly, 11g has a shorter range than 11b. This still covers the entire house.

    Third thing: MAC address filtering. Only three MAC addresses are allowed on my network: My moms PC, my laptop, and a friend's laptop. Everyone else gets "no access". It's very hard, but not impossible, to fake a MAC address.

    And, yes, I changed the SSID from my manufacturers name to another name. :)

    It is my opinion that if you make your access point hard enough, most people will move on.

    The only restaurant that I know of that offers free wireless Internet is Brookfields. Pretty good food. Also, California State University allows unlimited wireless access with a student login and password. And, some cruise ships (for a price) will allow you to use a laptop to hook up to the Internet.

    Of course, it's interesting that where I am sitting at work right now, there is a wide-open Internet access point that is easily accessable. :(
     
  19. DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

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    "Turn off SSID broadcasting. Reasoning: If I don't advertise my presence, I won't get freeloaders."

    Let me offer another opinion-
    Turning off SSID, I don't believe offers you any protection. I see them still popup on my IPAQ with no name listed. Static IP, WEP or similar, and Mac filtering will get you some protection from the casual WiFi road warrior. If you need anything more than that because you are trying to protect some highly sensitive stuff, then you are better off isolating that sensitive stuff from the outside world. My opinion is if someone really wants to get into your system bad enough they will. The concept here is to prevent people like me from piggybacking on your bandwidth because you left it wide open and inviting. I don't have any idea how to hack passwords and WEP and don't care to learn. For me, I simply move on and either find another open access point or allow my IPAQ to log into GPRS.

    The issue of government run WAP's otherwise known as taxpayer supported WAP's is that the government may decided to form their own monopoly and go into the ISP business for it's community. Then force the current ISP's out of business. I have mixed feelings about this but I tend to side with business and then have the government regulate the service much like they do TV, Power, and other communications. The biggest fear is the Government decides to tax the bandwidth. So far Congress has a moratorium on this but for how long?
     
  20. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    "Then, I tightened the screws. First thing: Turn off SSID broadcasting. Reasoning: If I don't advertise my presence, I won't get freeloaders.

    Second thing: Switch on 11g wireless only. If I read the specs correctly, 11g has a shorter range than 11b. This still covers the entire house.

    Third thing: MAC address filtering. Only three MAC addresses are allowed on my network: My moms PC, my laptop, and a friend's laptop. Everyone else gets "no access". It's very hard, but not impossible, to fake a MAC address."

    None of that will take more than a couple seconds to crack :) SSIDs are easily discovered, broadcast or not and 11g has the same range as 11b :) It just means you can't add an 11b device...

    The MAC filter is the only security you really have, and it's very simple. Personally, that's all I use... I find it adequate IMHO since I'm not too worried... as long as my network is harder to access than my neighbor's :)
     

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