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Wireless Networks and WEP

The total lack of security...
2003.03.18 00:41 by Indy


This is in partial due to a thread in the forums over here
It has also been posted - here -

While at work today, I left the laptop in the Van running during my entire shift. While it was running, I had the program NetStumbler running in the background. This program picks up on the wireless networks that you may run through...

[disclaimer]Before I go any further, let me just say this. I did NOT enter into anyone's network, nor do I advocate doing so. This little experiment was more of a display of the lack of security that most people have on their home networks....[/disclaimer]

After being out in the field for about 9 hours, these are the numbers that I came up with...

Total networks seen: 118
Total networks encrypted: 30
Total networks unencrypted: 88

---------------------------------------------
As you can see, just a shade over 25% had their networks encrypted. And to be honest, the majority of those were of businesses, when I drove through a couple of commercial districts...
---------------------------------------------

Vendors:

3Com.......................................................1
Acer.........................................................4
Enterasys ................................................1
Agere (Lucent) Orinoco...............................6
Linksys.....................................................62
Netgear....................................................14
SMC..........................................................1
D-Link.......................................................13
Apple........................................................1
Cisco.........................................................2
Advanced Multimedia Internet.......................3
Unknown...................................................9
Z-Com.......................................................1


Doesn't take a genius to figure out that Linksys has the edge on the wireless market right now. The problem is that most of those linksys routers are being used in the default state from the factory, meaning no encryption, and an SSID of 'Linksys'...anyone with half a brain can figure out how to get into those routers, if they were so inclined...

--------------------------------------------------------------

Wireless channels

Ch.1..........................9
Ch.2..........................1
Ch.3..........................3
Ch.4..........................1
Ch.5..........................0
Ch.6..........................85
Ch.7..........................0
Ch.8..........................0
Ch.9..........................2
Ch.10........................2
Ch.11........................16
Ch.12........................0

Again, because of routers being used in the default settings from the factory, most are set up on Channel 6. Channels 5, 7, 8, and 12 had absolutely no routers on them whatsoever...

The biggest point that I guess I'm trying to make is that it's not hard for someone to drive along and tap into a wireless network if they were so inclined. WEP encryption, I liken to a front door lock...it keeps people honest. If someone wants to get in badly enough, they're going to. Unless you WANT to offer people access to your broadband, you need to have WEP enabled...

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