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Why not with WEP?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by jmc, Oct 5, 2003.

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  1. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    In trying to get all pieces of my networking/internet setup working, I reset everything this morning. Here's my current setup:

    I have a D-Link 614+ wireless router attached to a Windows 2000 Pro computer. I've modified the SSID, but WEP is disabled and the SSID is still being broadcast. Everything else is default, and the router is the DHCP server. I'm using Analog-X as a proxy server.

    I have a Fujitsu P1200 Laptop, and a Linksys WirelessG pccard. Currently, the laptop is about 4" from the router, so signal strength isn't the problem.

    With WEP turned off, everything almost works (at least at the moment) - The laptop successfully connects to the network and gets a proper IP from the router, I can see the laptop's shared files from the PC, and the laptop can connect to the internet through the proxy server.

    However,
    1) I've had this working before, only to have everything collapse on a reboot.
    2) I'm not protecting my network because WEP is disabled (yes, I'm aware that WEP isn't great protection anyway.)
    3) The laptop is not seeing the PC's shared files. It did last time I got it working on a fresh router reset without WEP (I've been trying to use it at 128bit. Why might I try a lower one?).

    What has been happening is that somewheres along the way, the router starts failing to give an IP to the laptop, so it defaults to the automatic config, which is a completely wrong IP - both the IP and the subnet mask are incorrect. This of course means nothing works. Is this a problem with the pccard, the router, or the laptop itself? What can I do to fix this?

    What is wrong with my network that prevents things from happening properly with WEP enabled? The laptop doesn't get a proper IP from the router, and I can't reach the proxy server (access denied) either.

    Any help is appreciated, I've done what I can to protect my data, but feelin' mighty vulnerable with WEP disabled...

    Oh, and I've just realized that the router keeps resetting the time/date to some time in April 2002. I've given it an NTP timeserver IP, when will it try to use it?

    Ok, doing research while waiting... I see that some people can cause their pccard (linksys included I think) into thinking it's a d-link card. Any idea how I do this? I also read a post where WEP can be semi-broken on a client machine if the media manufacturers are different. Details? How do I tell if my card supports Wireless Zero Configuration (pretty sure the router does), and how do I enable it?

    Do I have too many questions in this post now?
     
  2. funkenbooty

    funkenbooty

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    What a train wreck!
     
  3. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    Funkenbooty, I assume you've never screwed something up while trying to learn something new? Or researched the 'net, then needed help to determine fact from fiction?

    Johnwill, thanks for the advice in another thread, I'll not create any more multiple threads. Sorry, it's the way I think too: When I start from scratch because things are broke, I try to ignore what went before, to truly start "clean".

    Regardless, here's an update: Sometime when I was ignoring my laptop, it decided to "see" the PC. So that's working now.

    So now I'm left with the following old issue:

    Computers can't communicate with WEP enabled.

    And the following "new" one:

    Mozilla and Trillian are quite happy to use the proxy server as set up. However, IE and WMP are not. Rails against MS aside, anybody know why this can be? Doublechecked the settings, they are identical.

    I did go out and buy a book on Wi-Fi, off to go see if it contains some answers...
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    FWIW, I've found that WEP is the most problematic part of wireless networking, though it is, IMO, a necessary evil. I'd start by removing all traces of WEP configuration and basically start over. Also, don't use the automatic key generation, but type in the hex key.
     
  5. Trboy13

    Trboy13

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    hey i have the same damned router :)
    I havent had any problems with wep, but i'm only using 64 bit.
    If your worried about security you can just enable the mac filtering. Then again, i don't really know how secure that is.

    not that this helps any, but good luck.
     
  6. funkenbooty

    funkenbooty

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    Well you assumed wrong! I don’t like to brag but I’ve screwed up lots of hardware worth hundreds of $$$ while trying to learn something new, plus I spend many hours researching the ‘net.
     
  7. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    johnwill: Thanks. I'd already figured out that WEP is problematic :) I just tried the manual key with 64bit, partial success: the laptop can still surf the 'net, the PC can see the laptop, but the laptop can't see the PC. 'course, this was the case the other day, and it seemed to clear on its own.

    Trboy: My bit of reading on MAC filtering suggests it is, uh, less than useful. But I'm still researching. What network adapters are you using? Anything Linksys? Fortunately, the adapter coming in for my spouse's machine is another D-Link, so I'm hoping he doesn't have the same issues.

    funkenbooty: I need to remember my rule #2 of online communications - sarcasm doesn't parse well in text :)

    Anybody have any idea why my router keeps resetting the date/time (to april 02)? Is this normal when you make some other setting change? I added an NTP server, but that doesn't seem to have made a difference.

    It's also still odd that all apps except for the MS ones can get online through the proxy. Ah, well, guess the important ones can get through. :)
     
  8. funkenbooty

    funkenbooty

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    make sure you have latest firmware for router and for that matter
    check for latest NIC drivers
     
  9. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    but I'll have to check on the NIC... or the Linksys adapter, for that matter... thanks for the info.
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you're able to get onto the Internet from the laptop with WEP enabled, you're almost there. :D You clearly have two-way connectivity now. Check the TCP/IP properties and see if NETBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled, if not enable it on all machines. This should allow you to browse the LAN.

    There is nothing short of a VPN link you can do to 802.11b to make it truly secure. Not broadcasting the SSID, MAC filtering, and WEP are all crackable. WEP is actually the most difficult, and if I were to find someone tapping into my router, I'd just start changing the WEP key every night to drive them nuts. It takes quite a few hours of transmissions for analysis to come up with the WEP key, so rotating the key would keep the person busy until they got tired of trying. :D
     
  11. FusionSlayer

    FusionSlayer

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    Yeah, if you're really worried about security, wait for 802.11i...new stuff is gonna be rock solid. MAC filtering should keep out some casual intruders - just do not broadcast SSID...although i kinda like it when people do it around my friend's houses...heh
     
  12. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    What's a good tool to monitor whether or not somebody else has tried to access my wireless network from the outside when I'm not around? I'm using ZoneAlarm on the PC, but if that's the ticket, not sure what to look for, or if I'll find it since my ISP pings me every few seconds, everything else gets lost in the noise.
     
  13. shenrick

    shenrick

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    Not sure if this was posted already, and if so, I'm sorry. Just don't have the time I need to read through the entire thread. I also have the 614+, with Win XP and 2k. Just make sure that if you have the MAC filter enabled, that you plug in the proper MAC addy of the Win 2k machine. (You might want to disable it first, then go to the DHCP portion of the router, pull off the MAC addy of the 2k machine, turn on MAC filtering again, then plug in the MAC addy you just got for the 2k machine.) Also, I think the reason that the 2k machine can't see the XP machine is due to the fact that "simple file sharing" isn't enabled on the XP machine. I had the same issue a while back on my network, and when I enabled file sharing on the XP machine, it magically appeared. Hope this wasn't too confusing, and that it was at least a little help. Good luck...let me know how it turns out, and if you need any further help......Sam
     
  14. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    MAC filtering is very easy to spoof, it offers no protection against even an amateur hacker. :)
     
  15. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    Actually, it's the XP machine that can't initially see the 2K machine. Oddly, if I check back in 15 minutes or so, it automagically has started to see the machine. So all is almost kopacetic.

    Still need suggestions on a good tool to tell if anybody tried to hack my network overnight.

    Still wondering why IE and WMP can't use the proxy, while everything else (Mozilla, Trillian, Norton AV) can.

    Johnwill, do you think it makes any real difference, security-wise, whether I use 64 or 128-bit encryption? Is any hacker capable of breaking into the lower encryption, probably also able to break the higher one, given time? Eventually I do want to use higher encryption, if I can figure out how to not break my network when I do.

    Oh, and where's a good site to learn about wireless and WEP?

    Thanks to everyone for your help!
     
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