www. O S N E W S .com
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
Home Network Insecurity
By Howard Fosdick on 2014-11-17 20:28:50
Is your home wireless network secure? On a drive about town, I noticed that about one fifth of home routers are completely open and perhaps half are under-secured.

Used to be, this was because home users didn't know how to configure their routers. But now, Comcast is turning home networks into public hotspots unless customers -- few of whom even know about this -- specifically opt out. This article discusses the problems with this.

U.S. courts may hold you responsible if someone uses your wireless network -- without your knowledge or permission -- to illegally download music, movies, or software. People have even been raided by SWAT teams and convicted for downloading child pornography.

Is Comcast's project a bold move towards free wi-fi everywhere? Or is it a security outrage?

Meanwhile, here's a simple tutorial on how to secure your home wireless network.
 Email a friend - Printer friendly - Related stories
.
Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-27
.
https://openwireless.org/
By Bink on 2014-11-17 20:54:29
I’ve been running an open Wi-Fi network for many years—in addition to my internal WPA2-secured SSIDs. See https://openwireless.org/ for details—while I don’t do exactly this, I agree with the idea and encourage everyone to do the same.

Edited 2014-11-17 20:57 UTC
Permalink - Score: 7
.
checklist
By JLF65 on 2014-11-17 21:00:38
I do everything (and have for years) that is on that checklist for the simple tutorial. However, none of that will prevent someone from being able to use your connection - it just keeps honest people honest. It certainly won't keep LEO from charging you with a crime... in fact, quite possibly the opposite. They'll point out that it's unlikely someone else could have used your connection since you "secured" it. It's one of those damned-if-you-do/damned-if- you-don't problems.
Permalink - Score: 6
.
Consumer routers are hackable
By benali72 on 2014-11-17 21:35:37
A study from last year says almost all consumer routers are hackable.

See this article for the analysis --

http://www.cnet.com/news/top-wi-...

and here's the study itself --

http://www.securityevaluators.co...
Permalink - Score: 4
.
RE: https://openwireless.org/
By benali72 on 2014-11-17 21:37:48
I like it. Cool idea, great movement.

But you do know that if you live in the U.S. and someone uses your network to illegally download music, movies, or whatever, you're responsible, right?
Permalink - Score: 4
.
Great home
By Carewolf on 2014-11-17 22:03:12
We need more hotspots for better connectivity. I always use my router's ability to have guest network to have one open.

Legally there shouldn't be a problem in any modern society, but in case copyright trolls have corrupted your system, then at least having open networks being normal and opt-out not opt-in will destroy even their hard bought legal fig leaves.

Edited 2014-11-17 22:03 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE: checklist
By jazman777 on 2014-11-17 22:10:03
It recommends security theatre: disabling SSID broadcast and MAC address filtering. Completely useless against attackers (honest people aren't attacking, and a good passphrase keeps them out) and give a false sense of security.
Permalink - Score: 6
.
RE[2]: https://openwireless.org/
By Bink on 2014-11-17 22:21:48
I recommend you read https://openwireless.org/myths-le... for more information on this.
Permalink - Score: 7
.
Messed up
By darknexus on 2014-11-17 22:27:36
Look, if you want to run an open network, that's fine. But for an ISP to change your network into an open one without your consent, especially in a country like the US where you'll be held responsible for anything some random schmuck does, is insanity. What scares me more is that people are praising more hotspots without realizing just what this means to anyone who gets the short end of the legal stick.
Run all the open networks you want. I run an open guest network myself, but have a lot of restrictions set up on what can be done. THe key difference is: this is my choice. Mine. Not my ISPs. One of many reasons why I don't use an ISP-provided router and make sure everyone I know is aware of what can happen when they do stick with the routers they're given. Nothing's free, and tactics like this are the cost of accepting "gifts" from the ISPs.
Permalink - Score: 6
.
Security for the user of the hotspot?
By WereCatf on 2014-11-17 22:50:26
Everyone so far has focused on the security and legal issues related to running a hotspot, but no one's mentioned the issue related to connecting to ones; if you don't know who is running the hotspot and can't vouch for it to be secure should you really be connecting to it at all? Many apps, websites, mail-servers and whatnot still operate in plaintext, so running a hotspot is still a good way of getting all sorts of details about people, and hotspots are also a great way of infecting people with malicious software -- see a user downloading a .exe-file, for example? Whoops, it got infected on-the-fly!

Personally I just simply don't use any wireless networks other than the one at home.
Permalink - Score: 7
.
RE[3]: https://openwireless.org/
By benali72 on 2014-11-17 23:21:17
Thank you, I did. IMHO, it's never good when a web site urges you to do something and then has a section called "If Law Enforcement Comes Knocking, What Are My Rights?" Just my opinion. Cheers.
Permalink - Score: 3

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-27

No new comments are allowed for stories older than 10 days.
This story is now archived.

.
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
WAP site - RSS feed
© OSNews LLC 1997-2007. All Rights Reserved.
The readers' comments are owned and a responsibility of whoever posted them.
Prefer the desktop version of OSNews?