More and more people now have a wireless network - a network which is not connected by cables. The data is transferred through the air, by means of radio signals. The advantage is that you can sit on the sofa and use a laptop without the risk of tripping over network cables.
Wireless networks are more vulnerable than ordinary networks. They require extra security!!
There is a growing group of hobbyists who regularly search for wireless networks. They tour an area with a laptop, scanning for signals from wireless networks. This is known as war-driving, war-walking or war-cycling, depending on the means of transport used. Some people then mark the networks they find; this is known as 'War-chalking'.
There are even websites with maps of areas that have been 'sniffed'. Entire cities are being mapped in this way. War-chalking is not illegal, but penetrating someone's network without permission is.
There are countless tools that can be used to trace a wireless network. These are fairly easy to find and use. Any laptop with a wireless network card and a sniffer program can be used for war-driving.
Once your wireless network has been discovered, it is very likely to be abused.
For example, people may make free use of your bandwidth while you are paying for the data traffic. Moreover, the data on your network will not be secure if your wireless network is not secured, which means your privacy can easily be infringed. Read about the associated risks, for example in connection with spyware and phishing.
All kinds of other harmful practices also take place. For example, spam may be sent through your connection. Or your network may be used to break into other computers. Fraud may also be committed, such as phishing.
If abuse takes place via your connection, it will not be possible to trace it back any further than your computer. Hence you cannot prove that you yourself are not the culprit. Victims of internet abuse may take legal action, so make sure you are not blamed for other people's misdeeds.
ZoneAlarm Pro is behind a wireless router and here are the results. Your computer Is being carefully examined an passed, your system has achieved a perfect "TruStealth" rating. Not a single packet solicited or otherwise was received from your system as a result of our security probing tests. Your system ignored and refused to reply to repeated Pings (ICMP Echo Requests). From the standpoint of the passing probes of any hacker, this machine does not exist on the Internet. Some questionable personal security systems expose their users by attempting to "counter-probe the prober", thus revealing themselves. But your system wisely remained silent in every way. Very nice.
Change the SSID name of the router, don't let hackers search for well-known names like Linksys and turn on the Protected Mode. Change the password of the router. Use WPA encryption, that's much better then 128bit WEP encryption. Use Mac Address Filtering. Block ICMP Ping. Disable UPnP. Let manage the router just with one IP Address. If you modify these settings, connect to the router with a cable rather than wirelessly if possible. You can configure it wirelessly, but you are more likely to run into problems if you do. Visit the manufacturer website for the best settings.
Best regards/Vriendelijke groeten. Gerard Konijn. Tilburg. The Netherlands.
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Message Edited by Gerard-Konijn on 04-23-2006 11:25 AM