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how to connect to XP wireless network without broadcast SSID

Discussion in 'Networking' started by wldbill89, May 12, 2005.

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  1. wldbill89

    wldbill89 Thread Starter

    Mar 11, 2005
    We have a linksys Wireless Access point (WAP11 Version 2.8) on our network. I set it up with a static IP and enabled the MAC address filtering to allow only the MAC address of the laptop. The Broadcast SSID is currently enabled.

    Everything works great and the laptop can connect to the network through wireless. (I am using the windows XP wireless software)

    I want to disable the broadcast SSID for security reasons. I disable it through the linksys admin page and then created a manual wireless connection in XP with the correct SSID. However, it will not connect at all when broadcast SSID is disabled even though I set up a manual connection with the correct SSID in Windows XP.

    As soon as I enable the broadcast SSID everything works again.

    Any Ideas on how to do this so it will connect and the SSID is not broadcasted? Thanks!
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Terry Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    I don't know the answer to your specific question. If you're interested in security of your network, use a good key or pass phrase with the highest level of encryption that your equipment handles. Probably this would be WPA - PSK. Even WEP will keep "honest" people out. Don't bother with MAC filtering or non-broadcasted SSID or static IP 'cause those won't deter the crooks, just put up roadblocks for people like you.
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    WiFi Security Myths.

    MAC filtering: This is like handing a security guard a pad of paper with a list of names. Then when someone comes up to the door and wants entry, the security guard looks at the person's name tag and compares it to his list of names and determines whether to open the door or not. Do you see a problem here? All someone needs to do is watch an authorized person go in and forge a name tag with that person’s name. The comparison to a wireless LAN here is that the name tag is the MAC address. The MAC address is just a 12 digit long HEX number that can be viewed in clear text with a sniffer. A sniffer to a hacker is like a hammer to a carpenter except the sniffer is free. Once the MAC address is seen in the clear, it takes about 10 seconds to cut-paste a legitimate MAC address in to the wireless Ethernet adapter settings and the whole scheme is defeated. MAC filtering is absolutely worthless since it is one of the easiest schemes to attack. The shocking thing is that so many large organizations still waste the time to implement these things. The bottom line is, MAC filtering takes the most effort to manage with zero ROI (return on investment) in terms of security gain.

    SSID hiding: There is no such thing as "SSID hiding". You're only hiding SSID beckoning on the Access Point. There are 4 other mechanisms that also broadcast the SSID over the 2.4 or 5 GHz spectrum. The 4 mechanisms are; probe requests, probe responses, association requests , and re-association requests. Essentially, you re talking about hiding 1 of 5 SSID broadcast mechanisms. Nothing is hidden and all you ve achieved is cause problems for Wi-Fi roaming when a client jumps from AP to AP. Hidden SSIDs also makes wireless LANs less user friendly. You don't need to take my word for it. Just ask Robert Moskowitz who is the Senior Technical Director of ICSA Labs in his white paper Debunking the myth of SSID hiding.

    Disable DHCP: This is much more of waste of time than it is a security break. DHCP allows the automatic assignment of IP addresses and other configurations. Disabling DHCP has zero security value and just wastes time. It would take a hacker about 10 seconds to figure out the IP scheme of any network and simply assign their own IP address. Anyone who tells you that this is a way to secure your wireless LAN doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    See the full article at: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/index.php?p=43
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