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How safe am I ?

Discussion in 'General Security' started by Number 18, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. Number 18

    Number 18 Thread Starter

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    Hi,


    So I've asked this before about unsecured networks.

    I have 2 linksys at home (router and access point) router>access point >> my computer.

    both unsecured, how safe are my logs (passwords, visited sites...etc) I'm more concerned on the privacy issue not security. (just my logs no hacking no bank accounts to worry about)

    And if I made it secure will I have more privacy on what I browse?

    Also about sniffing programs do they get to know my visited sites and passwords?
     
  2. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    Security and privacy are inextricably linked. If somebody can infect your computer with any sort of keylogger or other spyware they can access anything they're interested in.

    Sniffers capture the network communication straight out of the air, without needing to touch your machine. If you transmit any information over an unencrypted wireless link it can be sniffed by anyone with the right tools and any interest at all. Information that remains on your computer and isn't transmitted at all should be safe. Likewise most decent sites force an encrypted https page for the login so your password shouldn't be transmitted in an easily sniffable format. Everything else, including emails you send/receive and pages you visit, will be quite visible.

    Nevertheless you would be well advised to get an encryption system onto that network. Other than protecting the information you need from prying eyes, it stops them from hijacking your internet connection, stops them from impersonating you to the sites you log onto, and also helps to protect you from malware.
     
  3. Number 18

    Number 18 Thread Starter

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    Meaning if the network is encrypted nothing will be visible even using sniffer programs?

    second what if I was the only one at that time using the network, will they be able to see everything after? if yes will reset help?


    It's difficult for my situation to make the network secure.
    Is there any program that will encrypt my logs before transmitting them to the network?


    Thanks
     
  4. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    Consider that encryption is scrambling the data in such a way that it doesn't make any sense unless it is decrypted. In theory somebody could still run a sniffer against your network but they'd be left with a lump of nonsense. oaWidQfaUIiju ;@@i983#890av af'€(J!£)(J 90J3 K P0920U34A and a bunch more characters that I can't even reproduce on my keyboard. It remains possible for a sophisticated cracker to break the encryption and find out what you meant to say. However that is many many times harder than just jotting down the information as it flies out in all directions including toward their receiver.

    That depends. To sniff traffic your opponent would have to be listening as the information was being transmitted, so if they (or more to the point their machine) weren't around at the time they couldn't do much. However there is no reason in principle that a cracker has to connect to the network in order to listen to the unencrypted traffic, and therefore their computer need not necessarily appear if you check for users of the network. Also if they had infected another computer on the network with some form of malware they could use that to do what they need remotely.

    Your ideal response remains to secure the network, both for this and for many other reasons. I don't know of any software that will encrypt something just as it passes through your network because this function is normally provided by encrypting the network. Depending on your circumstances you might have some success with a technology such as Virtual Private networks. Alternatively you would need to use a program to manually encrypt the file on your machine and then send the encrypted file to the other computer. The user there would then have to use the same program to decrypt it and get your data out. You'd also need some way to transfer the key, which for obvious reasons can't be safely transported over the network!

    The question that remains therefore is how critical is the privacy of these files.
     
  5. Number 18

    Number 18 Thread Starter

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    So securing the network will keep my data safe and unreachable right?

    But I'm not sure if this works with every network or mine. The connection I have is mainly from router A, then its divided into two. You can connect directly from router A. Or connect from the access point that comes from the router and not a direct connection I suppose. But I use the access points.

    [​IMG]

    the stars refer to the computers.

    The router is secured. So does it mean my data is secured even though the access point isn't?

    Sorry please bare with me.
     
  6. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    No, if you have an unencrypted wireless access point you're broadcasting your information in plain text / plain data all around your machine regardless of where else in the chain you encrypt it. This is only secure if there is exactly 0 chance of someone snooping in the vicinity of your machine, which is a radius of a few hundred meters.

    I'm afraid I have to go offline now. I'll check back tomorrow, if someone else doesn't take over.
     
  7. Number 18

    Number 18 Thread Starter

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    Oh, so now I have a wpa-psk (AES)
    Safe now?

    And what about the routers/modem, do they sniff? or now that its encrypted its impossibl?

    thanks
     
  8. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    Yes, that's pretty safe. In theory routers etc could sniff as they'd have the key, as could other computers that you've deliberately allowed to join the network and given the password to. However they aren't the enemy that you want to keep your data safe from, that is an unknown machine outside the network.
     
  9. littlephoenix

    littlephoenix

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    why dont you just set a password for your router?
     
  10. Number 18

    Number 18 Thread Starter

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    What password? the network or the router log in?

    An shouldn't the information now be unreadable even if they have the password?

    Done
     
  11. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    More the network password. If the information were completely unreadable it would be useless to you and to everyone. It is encrypted with a key and needs that key to decrypt the information. The key has to be secret (or anyone could decrypt it, and that's pretty useless!) Basically those that have the password will be able to get the key, and no-one else will. The password therefore should be secret.
     
  12. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I've watched my neighbor hack into a typically secured wireless network in under 3 minutes with his Laptop.
    He also showed me his "Man in the Middle" software were he can insert his computer in a networks traffic.
    He says all this software is readily available freeware.

    I only understand about 2% of what he tells me ..
    But he says to use WPA security .. A super strong password .. And firewalls in your computer and router.
    Luckily, He's a good guy .. Security used to be his business .. And I'm not wireless and don't have to worry about it.
     
  13. Number 18

    Number 18 Thread Starter

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    Aha.
    So how do you get the key?
    And how hard is the process from A-Z? as easy as 123? or takes time?

    And is it the same thing for having the modem password?

    Lucky you(y)
     
  14. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    The key and the password are related, but the computer takes care of that so you don't have to worry about how. Just remember that if someone has the network password they can read your communications as easily as if they weren't encrypted. General rules for keeping your password safe apply such as use as long a password as allowed and include numbers, letters (upper and lower case) and special characters and keeping it secret.

    The password on your router is a slightly different issue, as it's a password for determining access permissions. You should never need to tell anyone your router password.
     
  15. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned

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    This, IMO, is really the key statement. Yes, software that can be used to crack most networks is freely available-but all of it that I've seen has a fairly steep learning curve so it's not used by the 'average' person, only by those with a real desire (or need) to learn how to use it.

    So, unless you're doing something that will get you targeted I tend to agree with your neighbor-get the best security that's practical for you, keep it updated, be careful of what you do, keep backups of your system (particularly the data), monitor your accounts, and stop worrying. Stress from worrying about things you can't do anything about has probably harmed as many people as carelessness. Or maybe not-hard to find statistics about things like that.
     
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