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Caching And Wardriving


driven1
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For those of you that have never heard of it (and I bet there's tons of you who have) it's the practice of driving around with a Wireless Laptop or Pocket Pc using software that "logs" wireless access points and also (if you have the right software) will display those points (sort of) on a map through the use of your GPS'r.

 

Do you do both at the same time? And if you do, do you Wardrive for the sake of Wardriving or do you do it (and according to all Wardriving souces on the net this is a big No-No) do you do it to find unsecured wireless access points to connect to to get net access for Geocaching?

 

Just curious. B)

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My puzzle cache requires a date (no, not the kind you take to dinner) to solve the puzzle. A couple of cachers had neglected to get the date before going to the cache. So what did they do?

 

We drove around the neighborhood and found an unprotected wireless network and found the answer and then the cache.
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A couple of cachers had neglected to get the date before going to the cache. So what did they do?

 

We drove around the neighborhood and found an unprotected wireless network and found the answer and then the cache.

Stealing someone else's internet connection is NOT wardriving.

Wardriving is just mapping wireless access points.

Those cachers who used someone's internet connection did something illegal. (breaking into their victims network)

Depending on what kind of connection the AP owner has (dialup, paying per traffic?) it might cost his money.

Most wardrivers are against illegal use of open networks.

Which doesn't mean that everybody not securing their network doesn't deserve some kind of reminder how stupid he is ;p

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I haven't done it in the strict sense of the word (I don't mark WiFi access points then look them up on a map) but I have searched for open WiFi connections during a road trip using WarDriving software, so I can log my finds online before going to sleep.

 

So far, I've utilized signals from coffee shops, hotels, "free WiFi zones" in cities, and on a train. B)

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A couple of cachers had neglected to get the date before going to the cache.  So what did they do?

 

We drove around the neighborhood and found an unprotected wireless network and found the answer and then the cache.

Stealing someone else's internet connection is NOT wardriving.

Wardriving is just mapping wireless access points.

Those cachers who used someone's internet connection did something illegal. (breaking into their victims network)

Depending on what kind of connection the AP owner has (dialup, paying per traffic?) it might cost his money.

Most wardrivers are against illegal use of open networks.

Which doesn't mean that everybody not securing their network doesn't deserve some kind of reminder how stupid he is ;p

Mapping private WAPs is pretty much pointless if no one is able to use them legally. All it does is tempt folks to illegally use someone's bandwidth. Where's that picture someone posted of an open can of worms?

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If you look up some of the Wardriving sites on the net, you'll see that all of them specifically say that wardriving for the sake of finding open wireless access points to use to "borrow" internet access (or worse) is specifically forbidden. On the point of why they do it, supposedly, is to raise awareness about the dangers of unsecured wireless networks in any given area. Personally I find it pointless. I work for an internet service provider and everyday run into unsecured wireless routers. Some might say that if people aren't smart enough to secure thier wireless networks that they deserve to have their connection "Borrowed."

 

Just for fun this morning, I tossed my laptop into the car and fired up the software to locate wireless access points. I live in a VERY rural area. I found 10 open networks in a 10 mile drive!

 

Wardriving was the best description I could think of to describe what I was after. If I have offended anyone that participates in wardriving, that was not my intention. Again to those who actually participate in Wardriving, Using someone's internet access without their express permission is FORBIDDEN. (Actually, you could probably end up in jail if caught using someone elses access.!)

 

It has already been shown in this thread that some folks do use some of the software/techniques used in wardriving to briefly "borrow" an internet connection for GeoCaching purposes. That answers my initila question. Now I wonder how many do it!

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I've heard of it, but why is it called "wardriving"?

It was a variation on the failed warchalking concept. It's kind of like how Geo gets geoappended to geoeverything around geohere.

 

I thought all this "war" stuff came from Wardialing. Back in the day (geeze, did I just say that) a wardialer was a machine that would dial all the numbers in a exchange and listen for a computer at the other end. When it got a good tone, it would record the number. You would plug your wardialer in, go out for the day, and when you returned you would have a list of numbers that you could then call with your trusty 900 baud modem and try to hack into :( Now lets all get out our Captain Crunch whistles while we are at it. ;)

 

-dave

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I thought all this "war" stuff came from Wardialing.  Back in the day (geeze, did I just say that) a wardialer was a machine that would dial all the numbers in a exchange and listen for a computer at the other end.  When it got a good tone, it would record the number.  You would plug your wardialer in, go out for the day, and when you returned you would have a list of numbers that you could then call with your trusty 900 baud modem and try to hack into  :(  Now lets all get out our Captain Crunch whistles while we are at it.  ;)

 

-dave

That was my thought as well.

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The software included with my portable includes a "radar" screen of available connections and whether or whether they are secured or not (at the wi-fi level).

 

A quick drive along a main road near my house showed dozens of wi-fi networks, and about half were apparently completely unsecured. Some of the unsecured connections were clearly personal (named for a person), some were still in the default configuration (e.g. SSID linksys), some were clearly businesses, and others couldn't be guessed at (strings of numbers).

 

Some businesses advertise free wi-fi (Atlanta Bread & Panera in our area for example) and others (like hotels) offer it for the convenience of their guests and their visitors.

 

I've also spoken with folks who deliberately leave their wi-fi open to intentionally share.

 

I'd like to log caches on the road, but I don't see an easy way to tell the networks that are intentionally left open from those that have just been carelessly configured.

 

Right now, I plan to use just the places that openly advertise free wi-fi, but it sure seems like there should be some sort of convention to help distinguish between deliberately open connections, conditional ones (one intended only for hotel guests or restaurant customers for example) and inadvertantly open ones.

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Actually, my bad. You're right, the terminology did come from "back in the day" and the terminology was derived from wardialing. (Although the WAR acronym does fit nicely for wireless access recon)

 

On the point of unintentionally unsecured wireless networks as opposed to ones left open on purpose. There is no way to tell one from the other unless "advertised."

 

As I mentioned earlier, I work for a major broadband internet provider in a support capacity and I am always amazed at the sort of things that people don't know about (or apparently don't care about knowing) when it comes to their internet connection and especially when it comes to securing their wireless networks. My feeling is that this will always be the case. People hook stuff up and don't bother to read the documentation that comes with the product or the documentation is above their heads and they say "the heck with it, it's working that's all I care about" and leave it at that.

 

Even in the workplace I see it. That in particular is really funny. I found an unsecure router right here and it's labeled to be used by managers! A great way to lose sensitive company information! (I informed them of this and they're correcting it.)

 

I know that there are some people who "Wardrive" as a means of generating some cash. They drive around looking for unsecure networks, knock on the persons door that has one, informs them of it, and then offers to secure their network for a fee.

 

So it looks like if you need a quick connection there are plenty around. My take on it is if they're there, and you need a quickie, why not? There are plenty of arguments as to why not. Stealing, etc. But if folks don't take measures to secure their own wireless networks, they obviously don't care, why should I if I need a quick connection?

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A couple of cachers had neglected to get the date before going to the cache.  So what did they do?

 

We drove around the neighborhood and found an unprotected wireless network and found the answer and then the cache.

Stealing someone else's internet connection is NOT wardriving.

Wardriving is just mapping wireless access points.

Those cachers who used someone's internet connection did something illegal. (breaking into their victims network)

Depending on what kind of connection the AP owner has (dialup, paying per traffic?) it might cost his money.

Most wardrivers are against illegal use of open networks.

Which doesn't mean that everybody not securing their network doesn't deserve some kind of reminder how stupid he is ;p

I disagree. This Week in Tech just had a good discussion on the subject. There is no case law that makes borrowing Internet access through a open unsecured WAP illegal.

 

How is one supposed to know when they find a unsecured access point if it is open for anyone to use (like a coffee shops and airports) or if it is a private network not intended for your use?

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I've heard of it, but why is it called "wardriving"?

It was a variation on the failed warchalking concept. It's kind of like how Geo gets geoappended to geoeverything around geohere.

 

I thought all this "war" stuff came from Wardialing. Back in the day (geeze, did I just say that) a wardialer was a machine that would dial all the numbers in a exchange and listen for a computer at the other end. When it got a good tone, it would record the number. You would plug your wardialer in, go out for the day, and when you returned you would have a list of numbers that you could then call with your trusty 900 baud modem and try to hack into ;) Now lets all get out our Captain Crunch whistles while we are at it. :D

 

-dave

I still have a copy of toneloc around here somewhere. What great software. Start it at night and by morning you have a list of computers to try and hack. My first real hack with it was UofM gopher server. Password was an easy guess of gomblue. Gave me access to what was then called ARPANet. Those were the days.

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A couple of cachers had neglected to get the date before going to the cache.  So what did they do?

 

We drove around the neighborhood and found an unprotected wireless network and found the answer and then the cache.

Stealing someone else's internet connection is NOT wardriving.

Wardriving is just mapping wireless access points.

Those cachers who used someone's internet connection did something illegal. (breaking into their victims network)

Careful, there. That still remains to be seen. AFAIK, only Florida has actually ruled it so.

 

Depending on what kind of connection the AP owner has (dialup, paying per traffic?) it might cost his money.

 

In that case, perhaps the AP owner should take better care to protect that which is costing him money.

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My first real hack with it was UofM gopher server.  Password was an easy guess of gomblue.  Gave me access to what was then called ARPANet.  Those were the days.

I'm pretty sure the ARPANet was gone well before then. The term Internet came to play in 1974 as ARPANet began its phase-out. TCP/IP based Internet had its roots back in the 1970's and was adopted by the Defence Dept. in 1980 and universally adopted by 1983 replacing NCP (Network Control Protocol) or the last remnants of ARPANet. The government funded 56K backbone NSFNet came about in the mid-1980's. Gopher didn't come around until 1991.

 

History lesson aside, you are right! Those were the days! In fact, I just found the old manual for ToneLoc!

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My first real hack with it was UofM gopher server.  Password was an easy guess of gomblue.  Gave me access to what was then called ARPANet.  Those were the days.

I'm pretty sure the ARPANet was gone well before then. The term Internet came to play in 1974 as ARPANet began its phase-out. TCP/IP based Internet had its roots back in the 1970's and was adopted by the Defence Dept. in 1980 and universally adopted by 1983 replacing NCP (Network Control Protocol) or the last remnants of ARPANet. The government funded 56K backbone NSFNet came about in the mid-1980's. Gopher didn't come around until 1991.

 

History lesson aside, you are right! Those were the days! In fact, I just found the old manual for ToneLoc!

All correct, yes, except that ARPANet existed until 1990, despite the fact that IP-based MILNet and NSFNet were both in full swing by then. Gopher was publicly released in 1991, but since it was developed at the UofM, I wonder if Gopher was privately up and running at UofM pre-1991?

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I almost forgot. Yes, I wardrive while caching. I do it mostly for fun and map out the connections via JiGLE. I do NOT connect to private networks secured or insecure. I DO connect to public hotspots that are designed for public use (truck stops, Schlotsky's, cafes, etc.) I've even written a short article about this practice on my blog, WiFi Caching Map. Yes, my own AP is included on that map!

 

NOTE: I do not encourage or condone the use of some else's wireless network for any purpose (including Geocaching) without proper consent. Also, the lack of security does NOT imply consent. The detection and/or mapping of publicly broadcasted signals is my definition of wardriving. I am simply detecting signals, not connecting to networks via those signals. This is no different that driving around with my windows down listening to dogs bark and mapping them. I do NOT attempt to listen to any particular dog's conversation and do not use that dog for my own personal use (including Geocaching). :(

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A couple of cachers had neglected to get the date before going to the cache.  So what did they do?

 

We drove around the neighborhood and found an unprotected wireless network and found the answer and then the cache.

Those cachers who used someone's internet connection did something illegal. (breaking into their victims network)

I disagree. This Week in Tech just had a good discussion on the subject. There is no case law that makes borrowing Internet access through a open unsecured WAP illegal.

 

How is one supposed to know when they find a unsecured access point if it is open for anyone to use (like a coffee shops and airports) or if it is a private network not intended for your use?

Well, there certainly are different laws all over the world.

Since I read news articles about americans getting busted while "playing" with WLANs they didn't own I assumed you would have similar laws than we have.

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My first real hack with it was UofM gopher server.  Password was an easy guess of gomblue.  Gave me access to what was then called ARPANet.  Those were the days.

I'm pretty sure the ARPANet was gone well before then. The term Internet came to play in 1974 as ARPANet began its phase-out. TCP/IP based Internet had its roots back in the 1970's and was adopted by the Defence Dept. in 1980 and universally adopted by 1983 replacing NCP (Network Control Protocol) or the last remnants of ARPANet. The government funded 56K backbone NSFNet came about in the mid-1980's. Gopher didn't come around until 1991.

 

History lesson aside, you are right! Those were the days! In fact, I just found the old manual for ToneLoc!

All correct, yes, except that ARPANet existed until 1990, despite the fact that IP-based MILNet and NSFNet were both in full swing by then. Gopher was publicly released in 1991, but since it was developed at the UofM, I wonder if Gopher was privately up and running at UofM pre-1991?

That would be about the correct time. Late 1990 early 91 when I go that access. It started out as exploring the Telenet (not telnet) it was a dialup access system that allowed me to get the 50 miles to UofM without paying long distance phone charges. I don't remember if I had a 9600 baud modem or it I was still using the 300 baud acoustic coupler. LOL

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That would be about the correct time.  Late 1990 early 91 when I go that access.  It started out as exploring the Telenet (not telnet) it was a dialup access system that allowed me to get the 50 miles to UofM without paying long distance phone charges.  I don't remember if I had a 9600 baud modem or it I was still using the 300 baud acoustic coupler.  LOL

Telenet! Weren't they the ones that offered PCPursuit? You paid a flat fee every month for, basically, cheap modem long distance. And by "cheap" I mean $30 a month plus $1.50 an hour, which was a BIG savings then. I used to dial up little local BBSs all over the country.

 

I remember a Pentagon computer being on one of the crack lists -- username: rocky password: bullwinkle. I never had the courage to try it, but I got into the McDonald's in-house network once. Then I remembered I was a grownup and I had things to lose. Sobering thought, that.

 

I never bought into the "their security was so lousy, we're doing them a favor by breaking in" mentality...but, honestly, you ran into some of the stupidest stuff. The first local network in my building at work, you hit F7 to drop down to DOS, asked for a directory listing, and there was a file called passwds.txt. Yeah, guess what was in that?

 

Oh. Sorry. I am so off topic. Do you ever get a glimpse of yourself hobbling around the old folks' home shaking your fist and saying, "no smarty-pants broadband access when we were young! No sir! It was a 300 baud acoustic coupler for us! You jammed that telephone right down on the suction cup, and it was off to the races! Now, some people think "baud" means "bits per second," but it ain't quite so simple..."

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If you look up some of the Wardriving sites on the net, you'll see that all of them specifically say that wardriving for the sake of finding open wireless access points to use to "borrow" internet access (or worse) is specifically forbidden.

That's the website operators covering their own backsides while giving the website users a "wink-and-a-nod."

 

It's not unlike the concept of "adequate permission" on this website.

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I've heard of it, but why is it called "wardriving"?

It was a variation on the failed warchalking concept. It's kind of like how Geo gets geoappended to geoeverything around geohere.

 

I thought all this "war" stuff came from Wardialing. Back in the day (geeze, did I just say that) a wardialer was a machine that would dial all the numbers in a exchange and listen for a computer at the other end. When it got a good tone, it would record the number. You would plug your wardialer in, go out for the day, and when you returned you would have a list of numbers that you could then call with your trusty 900 baud modem and try to hack into :cry: Now lets all get out our Captain Crunch whistles while we are at it. :lol:

 

-dave

I still have a copy of toneloc around here somewhere. What great software. Start it at night and by morning you have a list of computers to try and hack. My first real hack with it was UofM gopher server. Password was an easy guess of gomblue. Gave me access to what was then called ARPANet. Those were the days.

Yes

 

The days of ASCII graphics, dial-up BBS's and 5.25" disks :lol:

 

Non of this GUI, pointing device, high speed internet stuff :lol:

 

-dave

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That would be about the correct time.  Late 1990 early 91 when I go that access.  It started out as exploring the Telenet (not telnet) it was a dialup access system that allowed me to get the 50 miles to UofM without paying long distance phone charges.  I don't remember if I had a 9600 baud modem or it I was still using the 300 baud acoustic coupler.  LOL

Telenet! Weren't they the ones that offered PCPursuit? You paid a flat fee every month for, basically, cheap modem long distance. And by "cheap" I mean $30 a month plus $1.50 an hour, which was a BIG savings then. I used to dial up little local BBSs all over the country.

 

I remember a Pentagon computer being on one of the crack lists -- username: rocky password: bullwinkle. I never had the courage to try it, but I got into the McDonald's in-house network once. Then I remembered I was a grownup and I had things to lose. Sobering thought, that.

 

I never bought into the "their security was so lousy, we're doing them a favor by breaking in" mentality...but, honestly, you ran into some of the stupidest stuff. The first local network in my building at work, you hit F7 to drop down to DOS, asked for a directory listing, and there was a file called passwds.txt. Yeah, guess what was in that?

 

Oh. Sorry. I am so off topic. Do you ever get a glimpse of yourself hobbling around the old folks' home shaking your fist and saying, "no smarty-pants broadband access when we were young! No sir! It was a 300 baud acoustic coupler for us! You jammed that telephone right down on the suction cup, and it was off to the races! Now, some people think "baud" means "bits per second," but it ain't quite so simple..."

 

dadgum deisgner phones. Don't fit into the coupler :lol:

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People hook stuff up and don't bother to read the documentation that comes with the product or the documentation is above their heads and they say "the heck with it, it's working that's all I care about" and leave it at that.

 

Uh-oh--I am one of those. Two questions now: How DO I secure my wireless network? And second, why do I care if someone driving by uses my Internet connection? I don't have any files on my PC's directly acessable from it (I assume)?

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Uh-oh--I am one of those. Two questions now: How DO I secure my wireless network? And second, why do I care if someone driving by uses my Internet connection? I don't have any files on my PC's directly acessable from it (I assume)?

There are a fair number of web resources for securing your network. I like http://www.broadbandreports.com/ - lots of faqs and knowledgeable people in the forums.

 

If nothing that matters is on your PC, you probably don't need to worry about securing your network, but if you have file sharing on, your shared files may be at risk. If you have open unused ports and aren't' keeping up with the patches, you potentially could pick up a virus or have your machine hijacked for spamming. Do you use Quicken for home finances? Or develop business documents for work at home?

 

It's not likely that anyone will bother your system since someone has to cruise the neighborhood with bad intent, but there are plenty of stories about kids getting on a neighbor's wireless network and playing around.

 

It's probably fairly easy to secure your system even if it's at low risk. If nothing else, you can turn down the power on many systems to reduce the range to just the immediate area and not blanket the neighborhood.

 

Jon

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And second, why do I care if someone driving by uses my Internet connection? I don't have any files on my PC's directly acessable from it (I assume)?

Free music and movie downloads for ALL! Don't be surprised when your local sheriff alongside the RIAA and/or MPAA come knocking at your door.

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If nothing that matters is on your PC, you probably don't need to worry about securing your network...

Free Anonymous Downloads At Jon's Place!!!!

 

Come on guys, really? Are you serious? The whole first half this thread talked about people HACKING networks back when it was a pain in the rear to do. Now, you've got open wireless networks broadcasting themselves into the airwaves and aren't doing anything to secure it. At least turn on WEP so the traveling punks will see the little "lock" symbol in NetStumbler and keep on driving.

 

Sorry for the off topic rant.... let me get back on topic.

Free Wireless Cache Browsing at Jon's Place!!!!

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If nothing that matters is on your PC, you probably don't need to worry about securing your network...

Free Anonymous Downloads At Jon's Place!!!!

 

Come on guys, really? Are you serious? The whole first half this thread talked about people HACKING networks back when it was a pain in the rear to do. Now, you've got open wireless networks broadcasting themselves into the airwaves and aren't doing anything to secure it. At least turn on WEP so the traveling punks will see the little "lock" symbol in NetStumbler and keep on driving.

 

Sorry for the off topic rant.... let me get back on topic.

Free Wireless Cache Browsing at Jon's Place!!!!

Yep, but you only quoted part of the paragraph. If OP has ABSOLUTELY nothing to protect and doesn't mind sharing his bandwidth and his ISP contract doesn't bar multiple computer connections or that type of sharing, who cares?

 

On the other hand, if OP cares about who sees ANYTHING he has on his computer (passwords in browsers for example or browser history or having keystroke monitors watching what's typed into Quicken or ...), he needs to provide at least minimum security.

 

I would have been rather surprised if the OP had come back to say he had nothing on his computer to protect. I used Quicken as an example since many folks use it without thought of possible compromise by hackers and figured that OP might not have thought about his vulnerability to having his financial data compromised. The point I expected to have made was that nearly everyone has SOMETHING they'd like to protect

 

With regard to OP's followup, file sharing is NOT the only way a PC can be compromised. If you would be comfortable hanging an ethernet cable from your home at the curb for any passerby to use, then you don't need to worry about security. Otherwise...

 

Regarding your "offer" of my network for free internet access, please note that whole towns and even cities are providing EXACTLY that service or planning to do so soon.

 

Still, I'm sure if someone wanted to break into our home network, they probably could if they were willing to spend the effort. I don't know why anyone would bother to hack it even it was only weakly secured network though. There are at least half a dozen default configuration open wireless networks within a block of my house and dozens more within a half mile along the main road. Plus a few businesses that offer free internet access anyway (e.g Atlanta Bread). Why steal what folks are giving away for free?

 

Jon

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Seeing as some folks have inquired about how to secure their wireless networks, I thouight I'd give a couple of links that may help...

 

www.practicallynetworked.com

 

Linksys Wireless Network Security

 

Belkin Networking Wizard

 

There are many other brands of wireless routers out there and some of their sites require the specific model number to provide the correct instructions. On the whole, most are basically the same from a setup standpoint.

 

Also check the documentation that came with your wireless router. There are usually instructions for setting up the wireless and turning on and configuring WEP (Wireless Encryption). A quick note on that, you should always use 128 bit encryption when available.

 

On the computer side of things you may need to look at either the documentation that came with it, the manufacturers website, or the manufacturer's site of the wireless card built into it to learn how to set the WEP up properly on that side of things.

 

Wireless routers are basically small transmitter/reciever combination units much like a walkie talkie. As with a walkie talkie, anyone within range can listen to it and reply to it unless something has been done to prevent this. Enter Wireless Encryption. The best way to put it in this example is that the Encryption is like a "Scrambler" and the data transmitted is only inteligible to those who have the correct "Key" to unscramble the transmission.

 

On the subject of Wardriving. There are those who do it as a legitimate hobby just like those of us who enjoy GeoCaching. They adhere to a set of rules just as we do. There are those, however, who use Wardiving techniques to locate and hack Wireless connections for the purposes of Identity and Data Theft. These folks have their own set of rules.

 

If you are truly concerned about security, use a wired connection and supplement it with internet security software.

 

The same goes for Wireless, although the security risks are much higher for wireless connections even though you may have your security set up properly. Yes, there are ways and programs used to crack wireless encryption keys!

 

On the note of FREE INTERNET DOWNLOADS. Yes, there are people who owned unsecured wireless networks that HAVE BEEN SUED by the RIAA for file sharing when in actuality it was someone else using their unsecured router as an access point to download music. The person was sued because it was the IP address of their router that was identified as the supplying IP. So, if you are running an unsecured router, either purposely or not, you could end up being liable for something like that. At the least spending a ton of money proving that it wasn't you.

 

Hope this helps some of you.

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I gave the general link to BroadbandReports in an earlier post, but more specifically for wireless LAN's, this link takes you to their general FAQ article and explains a lot of the terms and options. Broadband Reports WLAN FAQ

 

Following driven1's links, I noticed that many of the practicallyNetworked artjcles were dated back in 2001, so they are more applicable to WEP than WPA. If the wireless equipment is fairly new, the OP should have an option for WPA, a more secure option.

 

Driven1 - you make a good point on the liabilities of unintended sharing of an broadband connection. I wonder how the corporate providers of free access (like some restaurants around here) and cities (like Greenville SC that provides free wi-fi in their downtown area) deal with thatexposure - I guess it's more an issue for the individual without access to their own army of lawyers...

 

Anyway, it's not that hard to put some security into a wireless network with the help of the links Driven1 cites or the FAQ. It doesn't have to be perfect, but since the environment is so target-rich, the better WLAN security in place, the more likely any hacker would pass on to easier targets rather than waste time on yours.

 

Jon

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Just a side question. Is my always powered on computer open to security breaks because it's always connected to the DSL?

Generally speaking, yes. IMHO, anyone connected to a broadband network should be behind a broadband router at all times. A broadband router will usually NAT your computer's IP address, assigning it a non-routable address in the class C private address space (192.168.x.x). What this means is that your computer is not directly addressable or accessible from the other side of the router. Solicited requests are still handled transparently from the user's perspective though, which means when you point your browser to www.geocaching.com, for instance, your router will take that packet and forward it along. WHen geocaching replies, your router will allow that through because it was a request initiated by you. However, when Joe ScriptKiddie who lives down the block tries to send something to you, it shouldn't get any farther than your router, which will not pass it along to your computer.

 

That being said, most people who deploy routers from the major manufacturers (Linksys, DLink, Netgear, Belkin, etc) fail to take even basic measures to lock them down, and some of them come with "options" enabled that can be used to make them wide open to anyone. At a bare minimum, your router should:

 

1) Not be managable over the WAN interface

2) Have the administrative username and password changed from the default

3) Not have any forwarding enabled to local hosts (sometimes called "DMZ" hosts)

4) Be configured to NOT reply to ICMP ECHO's

 

They're cheap now, too.

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Thanks for your response but I'm not sure where I stand and what I have to do. The DSL is on my Verizon phone libne. The router was furnished by Verizon.

 

So what do I do to protect myself? How do I implement the things you listed? Tks

To start with, you'll need to know what kind of wireless router you have.

 

A quick look around the web indicates that Verizon has offered a free LinkSys router in some cases and may have offered a D-Link DI-624 in others.

 

You can probably access and configure your wireless router via a web browser. If it's a D-Link router, you may be able to connect to it with a web browser by simply typing in the default IP address, 192.168.0.1 into the URL field. I don't have a Linksys router, so I can't verify the default setup, but 192.168.0.1 may work or you can try 192.168.1.1 and see if that's any better. Or perhaps the Verizon documentation tells you the address to use.

 

You'll probably also want to know what type of broadband modem you are using since there may be some configuration changes you'll want to make there as well. You may find that Verizon's setup has changed the default address of the router and/or modem since the router's ip address might be in conflict with the ip address of the broadband modem.

 

Once you know what kind of router you have, it should be much easier to give specific directions for securing your network.

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For Alan2. I would get hold of Verizon or look at their Web Site for info about the router they supplied. If it has built in wireless and you use it, Verizon should be able to walk you through setting up the Wireless security. If your pc is hardwired to the Verizon router, you generally don't have to worry too much about security. If you are concerned though, contact Verizon and have them walk you through the security settings. ParrotBob gave some very good pointers in an earlier post as to what should be secured at the very least.

 

Seeing as how this has gotten way off topic, (replies from myself included) I am closing this thread. I have already gotten the answer I was looking for. Yes, some folks do use "Wardiving" Software and techniques to locate and "Borrow" unsecured wireless connections for the purpose of GeoCaching. And there are some that actually DO Wardrive (as it's meant to be done) and Cache at the same time.

 

Thanks for all of the replies and to ParrotBob for his links and other advice concerning wireless security. :)

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