how many wi fi net works can you pick up on your PC?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by tvdavid, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. tvdavid

    tvdavid
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    I can get 5 here.
    These are on my laptop.
    When I go to other rooms it picks up more to.
    So theres quite a few people with wi fi down my road.
    Only 2 of them are security enabled.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. shirks

    shirks
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    from laptop downstairs can pick up 2 one of them are mine the other is very weak
     
  3. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    They say that they are unsecured - but they might have security other than WEP/WPA, e.g. they would would still show up like that if MAC address filtering was enabled but you wouldn't be able to establish a connection (without finding out the required MAC addresses that have been entered into the wireless routers "whitelist").
    If they belong to people you know reasonably well and are truly insecure/open, you could tell them.
    My record was 27 APs (access points) found from a room 27 floors up in the Paris Hotel on the strip in Las Vegas; however, I was using an external aerial at the time (home made whisky-can "cantenna") ; I would have expected half that number with the laptop's built in wifi card and aerial.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester
     
  4. tvdavid

    tvdavid
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    Thats quite a lot.
    Surprised they go up that far.
    so the higher up you go the more you get?
     
  5. craig777

    craig777
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    I see a similar amount to the OP on my laptop (5 or 6) - it does vary depending on what room I'm in and the time of day/night. All the ones I pick up are secure, although one wasn't a while back, which I'm sure was my next door neighbour. They've since made it secure.

    As well as making my connection secure, I've always had my SSID broadcast disabled, so in theory, people shouldn't be able to see me.
     
  6. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Unfortunately its a theory. Using Wirelessmon (£26 wireless utility) I can see 11 wireless networks including two of my own which have SSID broadcast disabled.
     
  7. WelshBluebird

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    just the one here - my own.
     
  8. stratagem

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    Yes, SSID hiding, MAC filtering and WEP can all be overcome in a couple of minutes these days, simply, if it's not WPA with a non-dictionary 20+ digit password then it's open.
     
  9. The Dude

    The Dude
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    sorry mate, but that's just bollards.


    There's a just tiny bit of a difference between leaving a door wide open, and closing it, then locking it.

    The moat (with crocodiles), and the bricked up windows, is entirely up to you... but I'll stick to leaving the upstairs light on. :D
     
  10. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Yes, normally the higher you are the more you 'll see at VHF frequencies and above. That's why TV most transmitters are at the top hills. The same applies for reception (a phenomenon known as antenna reciprocity).
    I used Netstumbler first to see how many APs were around, then switched to my normal PC WLAN facility.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester
     
  11. stratagem

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    For home use you're probably right, the chances of an intruder attacking your network is somewhat overhyped.
    However many small business believe they are safe with these simple tricks and they may be holding our personal information on file, we have demonstated by penetrating a number of these networks (with their approval) in less than 5 mins with tools that are freely available.
     
  12. nogg

    nogg
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    Once associated and authenticated by an AP, how do you then break the domain security in order to gain access to the data on the LAN within 5 minutes? I suppose you could just capture traffic, and see what interesting things pass over the airwaves, including if you are lucky, an admin password.
     
  13. stratagem

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    Without providing detail, once you are on the LAN you are part of the network and can start gathering data.
    A typical login process will go; here I am, what is your username, this is my username, what is your password, here is my password, etc. So it's not too difficult to recognise the pattern and grab the bits you are interested in.
    The issue with wireless is that you dont need to be in the building so you have all the time in the world.
     
  14. McPhee

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    I get 4. When i first moved in it was 2, mine and the guy next door. He didnt have any security enabled (connected to his by accident a couple of times) so i played the good neighbor and told him.

    Ended up setting up all his kit because he didnt know how :thumbsdow
     
  15. jaydee999

    jaydee999
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    Just for my clarification, does non-dictionary mean that you use letters and/or numbers, but not using them as "proper" words?
     

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