WiFi Security question

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Major_Stitch, Dec 24, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I have a question based around wireless security settings. I set up my WLAN correctly and set up WPA authentication and MAC filtering. The thing I didn't do is I left SSID broadcast on, so Windows Zero could find the connection.
    Here's the real question: Is a wireless network with SSID broadcast unsafe for home use? And is it possible to set up the Win Zero tool to find and connect to hidden networks (SSID broadcast off)
     
  2. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Posts:
    4,456
    Yes, it's unsafe because other user that can receive the signal will see it...
    The Win Zero tool does not see an hide SSID, but exists some programs that can see it without problems...

    Read this:
    http://www.jiwire.com/wi-fi-security-home-networks-1.htm
    http://www.jiwire.com/wi-fi-security-home-networks-2.htm
     
  3. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Could you please name some? I have the Ralink's Config but have problems with it.

    I know all about security and what each feature does, and I'm using all of the security measures, but would like to have a stable program for wireless connections.
     
  4. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Posts:
    4,456
    NetStumbler and WiFi Hopper
     
  5. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    First of all Merry Christmas!

    Second, I don't think that's what I've been looking for. NetStumbler cannot connect to wireless networks, and WiFi Hopper is share-ware. Is there any free solution, since I don't have a credit card to purchase software, and don't like cracking...
     
  6. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Posts:
    824
    Location:
    United States
    Major_Stitch,
    I certainly do not want to step on VaMPiRiC_CRoW's toes because he/she probably knows more about this stuff than I do. However, I want to raise the possibility that broadcasting your SSID may not compromise your wireless security to such a degree as to warrant such effort. I have found that as long as you enable WPA and use a strong encryption key your network will be safe from almost anyone. If someone knows how to circumvent WPA with a strong encryption key, then the added protections MAC filtering and not broadcasting the SSID will likely not stop such individual.

    I would use MAC filtering, since it is relatively easy to implement, along with WPA (with strong key) and consider your network secure.

    MAC addresses can be cloned and SSID's can be obtained by promiscuous wireless devices.
     
  7. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,160
    Location:
    127.0.0.0/255.0.0.0
    You are PERFECTLY safe. Hiding the SSID broadcast does jack for helping your security. An SSID and the connection is broadcasted in several ways, and ``disabling'' the broadcast actually only turns off one or two of them. Multiple programs detect the other broadcasts. Secondly, turning it off leads to connection problems(one of my game adapters needed the broadcast on in order to connect).

    Also, MAC filtering is worthless. Any MAC is easily cloned and a MAC address goes through the air in the clear, so it is very easy to pick up.

    If you use WPA or WPA2 with a 63 random character and symbol passphrase, then no one will be able to hack you or access your system. Period.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  8. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,459
    Location:
    North central Ohio, U.S.A.
    Last I heard, the estimated time to crack a wireless with WPA\2 and 63 random character pass phrase using a brute force attack was 10,000 years. So you can not quit say "Period". :D ;)

    A couple side notes if I may. MAC filtering can come in handy, not as a security measure. I have a neighbor in close proximity attempting to set up their wireless. While I do run WPA with a 63 random alpha\numeric\symbol pass phrase it was still causing IP conflicts. MAC filtering resolved the problem after my repeated offers of setting it up for them fell on deaf ears. Also as Alphatura1 stated SSID broadcasting can be very helpful and at times useful. Also serves little added security by disabling it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  9. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Sorry about a stupid question but how can I know what the pass is if it's 63 random chars?
    How can it be set up that each of my computers can connect to it?
     
  10. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Posts:
    4,456
    Is He :)

    And you can give us your opinion without any problem... :p

    from the link that I suggest to read, on my first post in this Topic:
    I completely agree with the suggestion for home users, because the major users doesn't know so much about this things, and I don't want that my neighbors knows that I have this or anything else. Is a private thing.
    But off course that the hackers will find it without any problem... :)
     
  11. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,459
    Location:
    North central Ohio, U.S.A.

    You are the creator of the pass phrase. In my case I keep it in a plane text document (notepad) then store it on a floppy, a thumb drive and have it encrypted using Axcrypt on my laptop as well. (yes I still have a floppy drive :oops: ). In the event I should need to reconfigure my wireless router it is a simple matter of copying and pasting it into the appropriate box(s).
     
  12. ClassicQ

    ClassicQ Guest

    I agree completely, there isn't any need to broadcast your SSID. While it will still be detectable using tools such as kismet, why invite more amateur war drivers? Also MAC filtering; while it can be by passed by a more advanced user, still remains useful - why ignore an extra precaution?

    The war driving tool of choice is Auditor [remote-exploit.org] - don't let the name scare you. ;) The only way to have a better understanding is thru experience.

    BTW The same folks make Backtrack [remote-exploit.org] based on Slackware.

    Have Fun Learning

    Q

    Ps. Both are LIVE Linux CDs (which can be easily installed if you so wish)
     
  13. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,160
    Location:
    127.0.0.0/255.0.0.0
    Well I just look at it and memorize it, not very hard you know :D

    Actually, I keep mine in a text file which is encrypted in a truecrypt container on a flashdrive (since all my pcs don't have floppy drives anymore ;) ).

    Then , whenever you need to setup another computer, just open up the text document, then cut and paste the passphrase. It actually is much quicker then remembering a short one and typing it in. Also, be sure to print off a hard copy incase anything fails and you lose it(to avoid the hassle of having to make another one).

    Here is a good generator for a passphrase.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  14. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Thank you both for the suggestions, will do it.
    As for the SSID broadcasting, are there any free apps that can connect to wifi networks (universal apps that is) much like the Zero tool but better :D
     
  15. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Posts:
    824
    Location:
    United States
    You are wasting your time and effort trying to hide your SSID.
     
  16. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Well, as for the hacker attacks, I'm probably not protected at all...if they really wanted to break in. But I'm trying to secure my network from unauthorized access from anyone, with great or not-so-great hacking capabilities. Hiding my SSID is just another time-breaker for those that want to try anything.
     
  17. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Posts:
    824
    Location:
    United States
    As mentioned earlier by ThunderZ and Alphalutra1, you are accomplishing next to nothing in the way of security by hiding your SSID. If you use 63 random characters under WPA or WPA2 encryption, you will be secure. MAC filtering and turning broadcast SSID off does very little in the way of security your connection.

    The counter-argument is that using MAC filtering and not broadcasting your SSID certainly do not make your wireless less secure.

    My only question would be whether using a third-party program to manage your wireless connection solely for the purpose of hiding your SSID could in some way create a possible exploit that otherwise would not exist. I do not know the answer to this question (although I imagine that it would depend on the third-party software that you choose), but my point is that you seem to be going through a lot of trouble to do something that will not benefit you, but could potentially harm you. [This last statement assumes that the third-party software could be exploitable].
     
  18. Major_Stitch

    Major_Stitch Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Well, that's than purely good judgement...It's the same for any software - do You trust it will be scure?
     
  19. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Posts:
    824
    Location:
    United States
    Personally, I use the latest version of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software to manage my connection (which I might add contained a very popular flaw that allowed exploit until the latest version). On one of my networks I hide my SSID on another I don't. Why the difference you ask? On the network that I hide the SSID, my laptop connects easily. On the network I broadcast my SSID, for some unknown reason my laptop has difficulty connecting so I broadcast SSID.

    I have complete confidence in the security of both networks because I use WPA2 on one and WPA on the other (each with very strong 63 random character passwords).

    My point is that I would trust the Intel Wireless software with SSID broadcasting before I would trust a more obscure wireless software. Again, my advice is not to worry about broadcasting your SSID (unless you are using personally identifying information as your SSID, which I would advise against).
     
  20. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,459
    Location:
    North central Ohio, U.S.A.
    Depending on the wireless hardware used, I believe the accompanying software may have the ability to broadcast your SSID or not as well.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.