Wireless security linksys home system

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I have one laptop computer and am using a new linksys wrt54g router. Have
been researching and made changes to the router config to "make it safer"

I run ZA as my firewall and run anti virus and spyware programs as well.

The real question for me is, If you are doing the right things is wireless
as safe as hardwired?
4 answers Last reply
More about wireless security linksys home system
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 17:23:38 -0500, "jcgc50" <jcgc50@cox.net> wrote:

    >I have one laptop computer and am using a new linksys wrt54g router. Have
    >been researching and made changes to the router config to "make it safer"

    What changes?

    >I run ZA as my firewall and run anti virus and spyware programs as well.

    Good enough. However, none of these will protect you against someone
    sniffing your traffic and capturing your passwords, credit card
    numbers, email, porno photos, letters to your mistress, etc.

    >The real question for me is, If you are doing the right things is wireless
    >as safe as hardwired?

    Actually, I think wireless is safer than hard wired. A wired LAN can
    be tapped. There's no encryption so everything is available for
    capture. Wireless, properly setup, is encrypted. You can sniff, but
    all you get is garbage.

    However, wireless has gotten a bad name because of crummy default
    security practices and defective encryption. If you're using WEP, it
    can be easily cracked and decoded. WEP is better than no encryption,
    but not good enough. The right answer is WPA encryption, which fixes
    the problems in WEP. WPA2 has an even better encryption protocol
    (AES instead of RC4).

    If you're running WPA with a decent pass phrase, methinks you're quite
    safe.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
    AE6KS 831-336-2558
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    jcgc50 wrote:

    > I have one laptop computer and am using a new linksys wrt54g router. Have
    > been researching and made changes to the router config to "make it safer"
    >
    > I run ZA as my firewall and run anti virus and spyware programs as well.

    ZA is not a FW it doesn't separate two networks. ZA only protects the O/S,
    its services and Internet applications when the machine has a direct
    connection to the Internet.

    You have a FW device in the 54G router that can stop inbound and outbound
    traffic.

    You may want to use Wallwatcher to watch the inbound and outbound traffic
    to/from the router to possible dubious remote IP(s), which the 54G router
    can stop that traffic from a remote IP or from a LAN IP/machine behind the
    router that has been compromised by malware until such time that it can be
    located and removed.

    http://www.sonic.net/wallwatcher/#routers

    It may require that you use the firmware that allows Wallwatcher to work
    with the 54G.

    >
    > The real question for me is, If you are doing the right things is wireless
    > as safe as hardwired?

    Wireless can never be as safe as wire IMHO.

    Duane :)
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message

    > What changes?


    Thanks for the response. The changes are what I have found at linksys site
    and others. Changing the SSID, disabling broadcast of the id, enabling MAC
    filtering etc. Generally, I have found they recommend 5 to 10 changes.

    The router defaulted to WPA - PSK for Pre-Shared Key. While I see WPA2 in
    the list I am not sure if my computer works with that or not.

    Considering the importance of security in a wireless network it is
    surprising how difficult it was to find out what to do and then when you do
    find it how poorly it is explained. For example everyone said change the
    SSID. What no one mentioned is that you are immediately kicked off your
    router since the ID is no longer the same nor how to go about getting back.
    Nor do they mention that when you do get in to check everything else. Since
    this also turned off the MAC filtering. I have probably missed something
    else but who knows.

    It would be nice to get a detailed primer on this.

    Thanks again.

    Jim
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 07:57:55 -0500, "jcgc50" <jcgc50@cox.net> wrote:

    >Thanks for the response. The changes are what I have found at linksys site
    >and others. Changing the SSID, disabling broadcast of the id, enabling MAC
    >filtering etc. Generally, I have found they recommend 5 to 10 changes.

    Everyone has their own formula for what's considered safe enough. To
    corporate America, nothing less than WPA2-AES-TKIP with an IPSec VPN
    running, is good enough. For most home users, WPA-PSK is good enough.
    There is some debate about the merits of MAC filtering and disabling
    SSID broadcasting.

    >The router defaulted to WPA - PSK for Pre-Shared Key. While I see WPA2 in
    >the list I am not sure if my computer works with that or not.

    XP does WPA2:
    > http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=662bb74d-e7c1-48d6-95ee-1459234f4483&displaylang=en

    >Considering the importance of security in a wireless network it is
    >surprising how difficult it was to find out what to do and then when you do
    >find it how poorly it is explained.

    Oh, it's not that difficult if you know the right buzzwords to feed
    into Google.

    >For example everyone said change the
    >SSID. What no one mentioned is that you are immediately kicked off your
    >router since the ID is no longer the same nor how to go about getting back.

    Chuckle. I do *ALL* my configuration using a wired connection. Yes,
    you'll get disconnected if you make changes while connected via
    wireless. Changing the SSID, MAC filtering, and encryption method
    will all pull the plug on you if you're trying to configure things via
    wireless. However, do it via wireless anyway. It's good practice to
    see how to disconnect, search for a new access point, and reconnect.

    >Nor do they mention that when you do get in to check everything else. Since
    >this also turned off the MAC filtering. I have probably missed something
    >else but who knows.
    >
    >It would be nice to get a detailed primer on this.

    Ask and ye shall receive...
    http://www.practicallynetworked.com/support/wireless_secure.htm
    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1152933,00.asp
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,844020,00.asp
    http://insight.zdnet.co.uk/communications/wireless/0,39020430,39170748,00.htm
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/learnmore/bowman_05february10.mspx
    http://netsecurity.about.com/cs/wireless/a/aa112203_2.htm
    http://www.lanarchitect.net/Articles/Wireless/SecurityRating/

    A dozen more articles on wireless security.
    http://netsecurity.about.com/od/secureyourwifinetwork/

    About half the above debunked:
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/index.php?p=43
    Incidentally, I agree with all his points.

    Overwhelmed yet? Good. That's because I consider much of the above
    to be worthless. You can change the SSID, password, encryption, and
    such, and still have an insecure system. Devious and evil people
    (like me) always seem to find holes in the firewall, or sloppy
    implimentations. For example, give me 10 seconds with your laptop and
    my autorun USB dongle will copy your wireless settings, including your
    allegedly secret WPA pass phrase. Another 10 seconds and I can
    autorun a script to setup an admin account for me on your computah.
    (No, I won't publish my scripts and tools).

    In my never humble opinion, the real basis of security is monitoring.
    It's like locking the door, but never checking to see if anyone is
    trying to pick the lock. Yeah, it's a bore looking at log files and
    intrusion reports, but that's about the only way to detect if I'm on
    your system. Do the basics as mentioned above. Never mind the
    creative nonsense such as SSID hiding, MAC filtering, disable DHCP,
    using NETBEUI, etc, and get some monitoring tools:
    http://www.sonic.net/wallwatcher/
    http://home.comcast.net/~jay.deboer/airsnare/

    Also, run some firewall security check tools:
    http://www.pcflank.com/exploits.htm
    http://www.pcflank.com/test.htm
    Lots of other online security testers. However, be careful with their
    recommendations. Many of them are trying to sell you their security
    software, which may not be necessary or useful.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
    AE6KS 831-336-2558
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