Neighbours' unprotected wifi - security risk ?

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by RJK, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. RJK

    RJK Guest

    Hi,

    Can someone highlight possible security implications for the following setup
    / conditions - and what perhaps needs to be tweaked to improve things,
    should they need to be improved.

    Background:- A friend moved to a new house and it has taken over two months,
    (after a catalogue of errors by Orange (originally FreeServe then Wanadoo -
    now Orange), to get his ISP service up and running. He has two teenage boys
    with wifi notebooks who very quickly discovered that the neighbouring house
    contained a wifi router that was unprotected / no WEP or WPA enabled in it.
    Of course the boys were happy as could be that they have internet access -
    while "Dad" was left blowing his top for two months because Orange took so
    long to get him connected. Of interest, is that the neighbouring house
    "unwittingly" supplying an internet feed to my friends' two boys, apparantly
    is an "IT person," immemdiately alerting me to the possibility that this
    free wifi feed could be a cunnning ploy to something more sinister !

    Anyway, my friend has a Linksys WAG254G v2 (combined adsl
    modem/router/wifi), connected to his Office PC with rj45/lan lead, I set a
    strong WPA pre-shared key in it, and have restricted connection access to
    the two MAC no's. matching his two sons laptops. So as far as my friends'
    WAG354 v2 is concerned nobody else can connect to it.

    What I'm unsure about, is the Windows services that are floating about in my
    friends PC's - "Client for Microsoft Networks," etc. (which I think is not
    enabled), and other Windows services where a PC can supply internet access
    to a network etc.

    In short, is there any way that the sons laptops, who can access two
    wireless networks, (Dads' WPA protected wifi network and the neighbours'
    unprotected wifi network), pose a security risk to "Dad's" office PC - via
    Windows networking services - which - as you can tell - I'm not too
    knowledgeable about ? !!! ?

    BiiiiiiiG TIA :)

    regards, Richard
     
    RJK, Mar 26, 2007
    #1
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  2. Hi
    Technically these practices might pose a security Risk.
    1. If a Network Bridge is set on one of the computers that are using few
    networks, their would be a free flow of information between the two
    Networks.
    2. Depending on the IP scheme your friend's Network can be easily invaded
    through File Sharing if a computer is connected to both Networks.
    To minimize the risk each computer should have Software Firewall that blocks
    local communication of IPs that are out of the range of the Local Network.
    Otherwise their is a Moral and legal issue as well.
    In many places, local laws might define "leeching" on some one else's
    Wireless Network as illegal.
    The boys can use these "Free" connections to get involved in Internet
    connection that his very unhealthy to them.
    Jack (MVP-Networking).
     
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., Mar 26, 2007
    #2
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  3. RJK

    RJK Guest

    Thanks Jack,
    MUCH obliged, ...if I understand your deliberations correctly, the risk is
    minimal ?
    ....I have emailed my friend, and instructed him to ensure that his sons'
    cease to connect to the neighbours wireless netowrk.

    best regards, Richard
     
    RJK, Mar 27, 2007
    #3
  4. Hi
    The risk is minimal if the settings take into consideration a secondary
    Network active together with the primary Network.
    Otherwise, it is Risky.
    Jack (MVP-Networking).
     
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., Mar 27, 2007
    #4
  5. RJK

    Robert Moir Guest

    It's possible, but let's be clear:
    At the moment the only 'sinister' thing I can see is two people stealing
    connectivity from a 3rd party. Now that 3rd party might be extremely stupid
    (leaving their wifi open) or they might be up to no good somehow but at this
    precise moment in time the only people we know are acting "sinister" are
    your friends children. Believe it or not, 'stealing' a wifi connection is an
    offence in the UK.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hereford/worcs/6565079.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4721723.stm
     
    Robert Moir, Apr 18, 2007
    #5
  6. RJK

    RJK Guest

    Interesting, and ..thanks Robert.

    Fortunately "Dad" has now got his Broadband back (couple of weeks ago at
    least), and has forbidden his kids to connect to next doors wireless router.
    Interesting that it's illegal in the UK, this is obviously "big business /
    ISP's" simply not liking the idea that people could get together and share
    one connection and split the cost -i.e. rip-off UK !!

    regards, Richard
     
    RJK, Apr 24, 2007
    #6
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