VPN over WiFi: How Much of a Security Risk?

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Anonymous, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I have a WiFi Home Network, and I often VPN in to work. My laptop has
    WiFi support, so could I use the WiFi to VPN in to work? How much of a
    security threat would that be? I'm told that the whole point of VPN is
    to protect the data in an unsecured medium (e.g: Internet), so can I do
    this without compromising my security? How much greater a threat is
    this, compared to using an Ethernet cable?

    Thanks in advance,

    Anonymous
     
    Anonymous, Nov 3, 2005
    #1
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  2. Anonymous

    Winged Guest

    Anonymous wrote:
    > I have a WiFi Home Network, and I often VPN in to work. My laptop has
    > WiFi support, so could I use the WiFi to VPN in to work? How much of a
    > security threat would that be? I'm told that the whole point of VPN is
    > to protect the data in an unsecured medium (e.g: Internet), so can I do
    > this without compromising my security? How much greater a threat is
    > this, compared to using an Ethernet cable?
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Anonymous


    Once you are in the VPN tunnel all communications are routed through the
    VPN tunnel. Security risk to work assets is relatively nil so long as
    the device you are using is clean and free of exploits such as keyloggers.

    This says nothing to the protection of the local wireless node
    connection. The local node can be easily exploited or used by anyone
    who is familiar with wifi tools. Your system, while connected through
    the vpn tunnel (at least vpns I am familiar with) can not communicate
    outside the tunnel as long as the vpn is active, so the active VPN
    system should be relatively immune to attack from outside the tunnel.

    But the communications via the VPN should be relatively secure.

    Winged
     
    Winged, Nov 3, 2005
    #2
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  3. Anonymous

    Beachcomber Guest

    On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 19:27:58 -0500, Anonymous <>
    wrote:

    >I have a WiFi Home Network, and I often VPN in to work. My laptop has
    >WiFi support, so could I use the WiFi to VPN in to work? How much of a
    >security threat would that be? I'm told that the whole point of VPN is
    >to protect the data in an unsecured medium (e.g: Internet), so can I do
    >this without compromising my security? How much greater a threat is
    >this, compared to using an Ethernet cable?
    >
    >Thanks in advance,
    >
    >Anonymous


    Your Home WiFi most likely has a medium-grade encryption feature (If
    you have it turned on). VPN also uses encryption (it's the whole
    point of Virtual Private Networking), possibly even with a higher
    grade-harder to crack encryption method.

    With any wireless system, you run the risk of having a neighbor or
    someone parked outside your house intercepting your packets. Whether
    they can do anything about decrypting those packets is debatable. My
    own personal opinion is that it is possible but not very likely. On
    the other hand, if the person with the laptop in the car is an NSA,
    CIA or FBI technician, maybe they can. Of course, if they want it
    that badly, they can probably tap your cable connection as well.

    During WWII the Germans were encrypting their wireless naval and land
    army communication with a system called Enigma. They were absolutely
    convinced that it could not be cracked under any circumstances. Even
    after the Axis lost the war, they couldn't bring themselves to think
    that their war traffic was compromised. The fact is that the British
    broke the codes (aided by the Poles and the French), and kept it
    secret for many years.

    Conservative practice would be not to use WiFi wireless for secured
    computer networking unless the convenience and economic factors
    dictate that there is no other way. There are dozens of news stories
    about guys driving around the country finding UNSECURED WiFi
    connections coming from regular businesses and individuals. Can you
    imagine a company broadcasting all their e-mail secrets and financial
    information in the clear?

    A hard wire Internet Connection probably lets most System
    Administrators sleep better at night, again, though, with the
    understanding that there is no absolute protection.

    Beachcomber
     
    Beachcomber, Nov 3, 2005
    #3
  4. Anonymous

    Beachcomber Guest

    On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 19:27:58 -0500, Anonymous <>
    wrote:

    >I have a WiFi Home Network, and I often VPN in to work. My laptop has
    >WiFi support, so could I use the WiFi to VPN in to work? How much of a
    >security threat would that be? I'm told that the whole point of VPN is
    >to protect the data in an unsecured medium (e.g: Internet), so can I do
    >this without compromising my security? How much greater a threat is
    >this, compared to using an Ethernet cable?
    >
    >Thanks in advance,
    >
    >Anonymous


    Your Home WiFi most likely has a medium-grade encryption feature (If
    you have it turned on). VPN also uses encryption (it's the whole
    point of Virtual Private Networking), possibly even with a higher
    grade-harder to crack encryption method.

    With any wireless system, you run the risk of having a neighbor or
    someone parked outside your house intercepting your packets. Whether
    they can do anything about decrypting those packets is debatable. My
    own personal opinion is that it is possible but not very likely. On
    the other hand, if the person with the laptop in the car is an NSA,
    CIA or FBI technician, maybe they can. Of course, if they want it
    that badly, they can probably tap your cable connection as well.

    During WWII the Germans were encrypting their wireless naval and land
    army communication with a system called Enigma. They were absolutely
    convinced that it could not be cracked under any circumstances. Even
    after the Axis lost the war, they couldn't bring themselves to think
    that their war traffic was compromised. The fact is that the British
    broke the codes (aided by the Poles and the French), and kept it
    secret for many years.

    Conservative practice would be not to use WiFi wireless for secured
    computer networking unless the convenience and economic factors
    dictate that there is no other way. There are dozens of news stories
    about guys driving around the country finding UNSECURED WiFi
    connections coming from regular businesses and individuals. Can you
    imagine a company broadcasting all their e-mail secrets and financial
    information in the clear?

    A hard wire Internet Connection probably lets most System
    Administrators sleep better at night, again, though, with the
    understanding that there is no absolute protection.

    Beachcomber
     
    Beachcomber, Nov 3, 2005
    #4
  5. Anonymous

    TaranFX Guest

    This method wud be Defacto the most secure method for wi-fi.
    these days Wifi is driven through VPN aggregators to make wifi secure.
     
    TaranFX, Nov 7, 2005
    #5
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