Ensure business continuity by protecting your data in real time without causing interruptions

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Free Software Archive:
Enterprise and Home Networking Downloads

WebProWorld Networking Forum

Is Apple’s Intel Switch the Beginning of a Cinderella Story?
For years the Mac was a highly specialized PC, ignored by most, but loved by certain industry aficionados. But no matter how dearly adored it was for its stability, security, and usefulness in the layout and design professions, it didn’t have the appeal that came with heavy hitter Microsoft

ePrompter - AIM Address
Does anyone know how to set "ePrompter" to check an AIM email address; e.g: xyz@aim.com? I have to enter in the POP3 Server it seems. I have tried several times, but no luck so far. Thanks for any input on this.

Microsoft Pushes Blackberry Into Juicer
Microsoft announced plans to jam, can and push Blackberry's email system onto the back shelf when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0.



Recent Articles

Nokia and Intel Team Up On WIMAX Development
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Cisco Walks the FineGround
Cisco Systems announced that it will be taking over data center networking systems maker FineGround Networks, a privately-held company based in Campbell, California.

Rosetta Wireless; Moving Well Past the Stone Age
Rosetta Wireless, based in Oakbrook Terrace IL., gives a great new offering to businesses for through their wireless services that could present safe and secure access to key information in a company's mainframe or network.

VoIP Gets A Big Business Nudge
Revenues for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services topped $1.3 billion USD last year.

Reuters Thailand Rides the Cisco Express
Cisco announced the today the worldwide news agency called Reuters deployed Thailand's Internet Protocol (IP) telephony site in Thailand with 700 Cisco IP Phone 7960Gs, Cisco IP Phone 7940Gs and Cisco Wireless IP Phone 7920s.

06.15.05

YAWNA - Yet Another Wireless Networking Article

By Erich Heintz

The consumer-level wireless networking market has exploded over the past few years. Unfortunately, manufacturers have been lax in explaining the potential security risks associated with their products.

Typical instructions bundled with consumer products are geared towards getting you up and running as quickly as possible. Only recently has consumer equipment begun shipping with basic security measures enabled. Unfortunately, this effort is flawed by the fact that all devices typically ship with the same default configurations, making the effort wasted.

Do People Really Care About Wireless Security

While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles currently available on how to secure a wireless home network, they frequently address only the steps involved, ignoring the reasoning behind them. Of course the most obvious reason is to protect the data on your own network. Believe it or not, many people don't see this as enough incentive. One of my own family members (who has an IT background, no less) once expressed to me that the security of his network wasn't of concern because he knew his individual machines were safe. He was right with regards to his systems; they were pretty secure. However, his belief that someone intruding on his network was there for his stuff was flawed.

Ensure business continuity by protecting your data in real time without causing interruptions

Using Your Wireless Network For Fun & Profit

Your bandwidth alone is a significant motivator for the less than scrupulous. Your unsecured wireless network can provide the ultimate "anonymizer" for illicit activities. You may be facilitating a glorious "hacker" techno-battle, such as those portrayed in the movies and television. Perhaps an international spy needs to transmit secret data back to her superiors and decides to borrow your network to fulfill the task. While not likely, you never know.

Little Johnny Wants A New Toy

Here's a more realistic scenario:

Little Johnny has a stolen credit card number. We don't know how he got it, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that Johnny now wants to take advantage of his prize and knows exactly how. His reward will be one of those new handheld video games that are flying off the shelves. Johnny isn't foolish enough to walk into a store and use his stolen credit card, he knows a better way. Johnny lives across the street from you and your unsecured wireless network


So here's what Johnny does. First he configures his computer to use your wireless network instead of his own, taking an extra minute to make sure that he spoofs any information that may uniquely identify his computer. Next, he searches the web a bit for the perfect online vendor to acquire his product. He avoids the biggest and the smallest vendors. The largest vendors tend to be very thorough in credit card validation as they have solid resources at their disposal. The smallest vendors are often quite thorough as well as loss due to fraudulent transactions impacts them dramatically. He searches for a middle of the road vendor, one with a reputation for lousy customer service, in the hopes they won't bother verifying that the shipping address is valid for the credit card being used.

Once he locates a suitable vendor he places the order and has it shipped to your next door neighbor. Why there? Well, he doesn't actually know that the wireless network he is using is yours and doesn't really care. What he does know is your next-door neighbor leaves the house every morning promptly at 7:30 and doesn't return until at least 6:00 in the evening. This leaves opportunity to safely retrieve the "tried to deliver while you were out" slip that will be left behind by the parcel delivery driver. The following morning he will reattach the delivery slip to the door, with instructions to leave the package on the doorstep. A few hours later he picks up his package, leaving no trail leading back to him.

Conclusion

More than likely this single incident will disappear without further involving you or Johnny. The owner of the credit card will dispute the charge, and the credit card company or vendor will end up eating the loss and the story ends. Of course, there's always the chance that some motivated investigator will follow the trail back through your internet provider and ultimately to you. You may not be going to jail over it, but you'll likely be having a few uncomfortable discussions with some gentlemen wearing badges.

The fact is this isn't an original scenario. This type of scam has been run over and over again and dates back decades before the internet explosion. It has dozens of variations and permutations. What is important is that this time around you have become part of the equation. By ignorance or by apathy you are in the middle of something bad that you never imagined could have happened.


About the Author:
Erich currently specializes in providing network and security solutions for small to medium businesses that frequently have to resolve the conflict of need versus budget. His commitment to precision and excellence is eclipsed only by his fascination with gadgets, particularly ones that are shiny, or that blink, or that beep. If you would like to contact Erich you can e-mail him at erich.heintz@gmail.com. If you would like to know more about computer security please visit us at http://www.defendingthenet.com.

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