Computer wifi security?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Adjuster, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    I believe this to be a myth or at a minimum at least very difficult to accomplish. It is definitely not something the average computer user can do. What say some of you experts?

    When you connect to an open public wifi network like at McDonalds or Starbucks or the grocery store etc other connected users with nefarious intentions can enter into your computer and steal all your information.

    There is a computer security company running commercials on tv right now trying to scare everyone into buying their product to safeguard their computers and information.

    If such a thing is possible give a brief rundown on how it is accomplished. I am not looking for a full set of instructions but just interested in the facts of it.



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  2. John Rambo

    John Rambo Raven

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    For a layman? Make sure Windows Firewall is turned on. Make sure you specify that its a public wireless when it pops up asking what kind it is. Make sure you don't have any folders or files publicly shared. Make sure you have a username and password on your account; a strong password.

    That'll get you started, but theres only so much you can do when you're on the same wireless as everyone else.
     

  3. diggy485

    diggy485

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  4. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    They probably won't be able to take over your computer, but they could be able to sniff your traffic and possibly get your info that way. This can be prevented by connecting to a VPN.

    I believe there are paid VPN's you can use as well as one you can set up at home.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  5. WarCry

    WarCry

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    How many typical users put passwords on their computers? My guess would be very few.

    Next, how many computer users share drives on their system - say, so you can copy files over your wireless from your "home" system to your travel computer?

    All of this would be secure on a secured home network. Locking down wireless is getting more and more commonplace, which is a good thing.

    However, when you take that "travel" computer out to a public place, if your drive-sharing is still set up to allow access, then that will be open to the new network you're connecting to.

    That's what most people don't understand - free WiFi isn't just your computer connected to the WiFi host, you're joining a network. If you open your "Network places", the other computers connected will show up, too.


    It's INCREDIBLY easy to browse computers on a shared network, because most people don't bother with passwords on their home/personal computer systems, and most don't realize you can further restrict who has access to shared drives. And if they DO realize it, then they don't bother anyway because it's too big of a hassle.

    As for how common it is......I don't know. But if I were looking to steal someone's data, and I set up shop at McDonalds, I don't need a very high success rate. If 1 out of 20 people come in with something unsecured, I can still have a VERY good day.

    I think this is far more common - because it's far EASIER - than trying to track, intercept, decipher someone's inbound or outbound data streams.
     
  6. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    http://www.esecurityplanet.com/feat...-Protect-Yourself-at-Public-WiFi-Hotspots.htm

    http://lifehacker.com/5763170/how-t...g-on-public-networks-with-hamachi-and-privoxy

    And here are your solutions when on public wi-fi. Remember the stronger your password the better the encryption.

    Here is an example of a password I come up with: #@mYHouZ2nITeP$

    It's pretty easy to remember too, yet it raises the level of difficulty for sniffers and crackers exponentially. How to remember it is simple (remember this is an example, the passwords I use regularly are actually harder and generally never less than 20 characters.)

    # = Hash
    @ = at
    mY = my
    HouZ = house
    2nITe = tonight
    P$ = PS

    So hash at my house tonight ps is the mnemonic required to remember the password. If you are worried about security and serious about increasing it then the inconvenience of a longer and more complex password is one integral step. It's the weakest link in almost every users security measures.
     
  7. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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  8. Tackle

    Tackle

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    As was said, not too difficult. Not going to get into details or explain how, I was able to view animal pron on my neighbors PC from a few hundred yards away. Also was able to send a nice letter to their printer about security.
     
  9. Don H

    Don H

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    157 billion years, should be sufficient. :rofl:

    http://howsecureismypassword.net/
     
  10. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    The biggest problem with Windows security ain't Windows. It's people.

    Basic security measures go a long way towards securing one's system.

    Many Windows users think 'password' is a secure password. :crying:
     
  11. John Rambo

    John Rambo Raven

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  12. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    LOL I thought it was interesting to go to that unknown site and easily be tricked into entering my passwords. :whistling:



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  13. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Here's what is said about my root password... which I changed right after testing it... that was a 21 character password...

    It would take a desktop PC about 32 sextillion years
     
  14. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Unfortunately, what you've said here is correct. People really think they can get a PC, plug it in, and use it... w/o actually checking settings, etc. (I know that's not exactly the case w/ free WIFI, but it's the same basic principle)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  15. Don H

    Don H

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  16. Don H

    Don H

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    Client-side. Nothing is sent to any server. With that being said I still would not enter my passwords only similar ones to check strength.
     
  17. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    Not sure why this would surprise anyone. Lots of women and some men don't understand that oil has to be changed in an engine...
     
  18. Drain You

    Drain You NRA member

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    I don't have a laptop but I definitely have used a smartphone on public wifi and tablet.
    Idk how secure that is so I give everyone around me the evil eye when in these situations, letting them know better than to mess with me.

    It has worked so far I reckon.
     
  19. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

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    Been there, done that, have the t-shirt somewhere for it.

    As mentioned above, if people would do just a few simple things, it would make this less of a risk for the average person to do it.

    Have a personal firewall and use it.
    If doing something you don't want others to know about use https or VPN into your world.