WiFi Security - Can my computer be hacked?

  Border View 10:23 23 Dec 07
Locked

My wifi connection is security enabled. I understand that if you dont have your wifi router security enabled someone can come into the street, or even a nearby neighbour, and connect their computer to the internet using your bb connection.

Question - if you are not security enabled can someone hack into your actual computer, not just use your connection.

  pk46 10:45 23 Dec 07

One word yes.

  Border View 11:26 23 Dec 07

Thanks for that confirmation pk46

  MAJ 11:32 23 Dec 07

You should be able to see if there is another person connected to your network, in your router's configuration page.

Make a note of all the MAC addresses of your own wireless adapters and set your router to only allow those MAC addresses to connect via your network.

Your security should be set to WPA-PSK or WPA2. Make your security password, long and complicated with a miture of letters and numbers. You can save it in a text file for your own use.

You can also disable SSID broadcasting after changing the default SSID to one of your own, again from the Router's config page.

When changing all those settings, make sure you connect the router to the PC with an ethernet cable, don't do it wirelessly.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:42 23 Dec 07

I always thought that actually breaking into a computer (using the Internet connection from an unprotected wi-fi is easy) through a wireless connection was very very difficult if not impossible. Could you enlighten us as to how this could happen?

G

  Joe R 12:07 23 Dec 07

Barmoor,

I have just set up a wireless network, incorporating two laptops connecting wirelessly to a router, and it was set-up using my own desktop, connected to the router through a plain cat network cable.

Whilst setting up the laptops, it would have been possible for me to connect to three unsecured networks in my vicinity, and only two out of the five networks available to me were secured.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:14 23 Dec 07

Barmoor was writing about hacking a computer (removing or viewing files) NOT breaking into a network to use t'internet which we all know is easy, if it is unsecured.

G

  postie24 14:34 23 Dec 07

It can be done,but as GANDALF <|:-)> says it is very difficult,requires some special software.Have seen it done on a tv programme,where a hacker logged on to an unsecure network,and was able to see all activity on the comp.
The guy couldnt believe it when the tv crew knocked on his door and showed him what he had been buying on ebay and a recently booked holiday using a cedit card.

  Border View 16:24 23 Dec 07

Been away for lunch and came back to "My postings". Many thanks everyone for the information. I am not paranoid, but I like to be safe and secure.

  silverous 16:55 23 Dec 07

Once on your wireless network anyone who wanted to would need some kind of entry point (I believe it may be called a "vector") into your computer.

If you have file sharing enabled, or your PC isn't protected against vulnerabilities (e.g. windows updates not applied), or you run any kind of web server/ftp server (most people do not) on your machine, or you have ports open to allow file sharing or games then these are all potential ways in once on your network.

I don't think it is trivial by any means, but the combination of the possibility for it plus the use of your broadband connection makes it worth taking some pretty easy precautions IMHO.

  skidzy 17:13 23 Dec 07

i believe i saw that programme about a year ago,though very interesting and a wake up call to some,i think its highly unlikely a computer is going to be hacked in this way...but it does prove it can be done with the correct tools and knowledge.

Barmoor

Personally my opinion is that we would have to be serious unlucky to be compromised in this way.

I feel that as long as some form of security is enabled (even WEP),the SSID is changed and a decent software firewall coupled with the routers NAT firewall...then one is secure.These are the simplest methods of setting up the security without MAC filtering etc.

After all we are not banks,millitary etc...just home users and the occasional business.

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