Eight Thousand And Counting

Posted: 21.10.06 in Blogging

Once again folks we have reached a milestone – thanks everyone!

I’ve just been watching The Real Hustle. What concerned me was a piece on wireless networks. The team hired a van, stuck a laptop with a normal wireless card stuck in the back, and with some software that is freely available on the Internet, they set out to a leafy suburb.

They found a spot where there were four wireless networks available – that’s not particularly unusual. Only one of those had a passkey that had to be entered to get into the system. So as a challenge, they went for that. With that software they downloaded, they got the passkey, no problem. They could have downloaded anything illegal, but instead they used to watch exactly what this particular bloke was doing. He was doing the normal things: bidding for things on eBay and even booked a holiday so that the team could see when he would be away from his house.

Their recommendations were simple – firstly, label your SSID with something that does not identify you. Secondly, use WPA security encryption. Thirdly, use MAC key filtering. These make it more difficult to hack into your network. I have to admit, I didn’t use MAC key filtering (I used to, but forgot to switch it back on after getting a new WLAN card), and my SSID was my surname. But having had a passkey, I thought that the hub would be more secure than this programme would have suggest.

Well there’s your warning: take heed readers!

  1. weiran says:

    While their suggestions are partially correct, MAC key filtering is almost useless, and very easily bypassed by someone with know-how (and if you know how to sniff WEP packets to get the key, then you’ll know how to bypass MAC key filtering).

    SSID hiding does nothing too, as you can still get the networks in range by sniffing packets.

    WPA is a very strong protocol, thats almost impossible to break (although WPA2 is more secure), and also you only have to remember a short passkey rather than a 22 lengh hexadecimal number.

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