Wireless security question

Discussion in 'Network questions and troubleshooting' started by Teisco, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Teisco

    Teisco Master Guru

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    Sorry guys I am really behind the ball and late to the party with this question so bare with me.

    I just got a new modem/router with wifi and hardwired it to my smart tv and my computer. Now if I am surfing the net and accidently come across some not safe for work or home content will this be broadcast in wifi even if I don't have the wifi selected or activated on the pc?

    The pc is hardwired but still it is hooked up to a wifi system through the cable to modem/router so a bit confused as to when things are transmitted and when they are not. I live in an apartment and really don't want some content streamed all over the building.
     
  2. Extraordinary

    Extraordinary Ancient Guru

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    Your pr0n videos will not be streamed anywhere else, don't worry :D

    WiFi on the router works the same as the Ethernet cable, in terms of accessing content, you'd have to purposely set up your PC to share content over the network for anyone else to see what you're doing
     
  3. Teisco

    Teisco Master Guru

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    Thanks, I might accidently test this later.
     
  4. haz_mat

    haz_mat Master Guru

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    Certain types of packets will be broadcast to the entire local network, including any WIFI devices on the same subnet as the ethernet hosts. This kind of traffic tends to be local services like DHCP, not the payload type traffic inbound from an internet host.

    The wireless clients can see all traffic on the WIFI medium (like a hub), but unless someone is specifically listening for other traffic the client hardware will drop packets not destined for its own MAC address.

    Some wireless routers/APs are able to set the WIFI to its own separate subnet and only route specified traffic between the ethernet and wireless networks. This complicates file and printer sharing, but if you only need internet access for the WIFI devices it is much more secure for your ethernet side.

    Also, anyone who wants to intercept traffic over your wifi would need your encryption key. WPA2 is only as secure as your passphrase and it doesn't take long to brute force a weak one.

    None of the above will help you if you accidentally chromecast your browser to the TV while the in-laws are visiting. :)
     

  5. Teisco

    Teisco Master Guru

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    Thanks, wish I could understand at least half of what your saying but what I do understand is that I should start to worry again.
     
  6. Extraordinary

    Extraordinary Ancient Guru

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    No you don't need to worry, can you see what other people on the same wireless network as you are doing on their machines?

    Nope, same as them being able to see you

    Basically the above is talking about hacking on the local network, in which case, you wouldn't be safe even wired
     
  7. vase

    vase Ancient Guru

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    1) All wifi clients who have your wpa key can sniff the complete wifi traffic including data payload with ethereal or wireshark or similar programs. This is pretty easily done and doesnt require any manipulation or special knowledge of the setup.

    2) Your wired traffic is generally not broadcast traffic thus you cannot sniff it without additional prerequisites. This directed IP traffic runs between your computer and the router over a port of one or more switches.

    3) If there is a person with physical access to your router he can either use an electronic device to switch between your computer and the router and listen to the traffic as long as you dont identify the layer 1 connection has been manipulated and eliminate the device.

    4) Also if there is another wired client of your router with the knowledge of your computers private/local IP address he can identify your MAC address and then pretend to the switch that his computer is your computer and relay all of your computers traffic along his connection. There are programs that have that MITM logic implemented to hide the "attacker/sniffer" from the victim.

    3) and 4) pretty much imply a criminal intention or maybe a friend who puts much effort into a prank

    1) can be easily realized because air traffic is nothing else but air traffic...

    conclusion: think twice with who you share your wifi auth key(s). use wired connections as often as possible in your home. it also helps with ping stability ;-)
     

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