SECURITY?? - the Linksys Wireless Router

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by blackpeter, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. blackpeter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #1
    OK, so I finally took the plunge today. I went out and bought a Linksys 802.11G wireless router. It was on sale for $125. The range and signal I get is great, so I'm pretty happy with it.

    Now, let's talk SECURITY.

    So, for all you Linksys users out there - give me some tips!

    - WEP:
    Is this necessary? I can't seem to get the WEP working with the Airport card in my Pismo. When I enable WEP my wireless connection goes down (as it should). But when I put in the password I assigned, it gives me this message: "The password you entered is not correct for the selected Airport network." Of course, when I turn off WEP, I'm able to connect once again.
    I did read something in the manual about WEP not working with some non-Linksys hardware. If so, are there any Mac/Linksys users out there successfully using WEP?

    -SSID Broadcasting:
    I've disabled this. It seems to me that if no one can see my network, then it's pretty secure. Am I wrong?

    - Wireless MAC filter:
    I've set this up successfully. With this and SSID disabled, is there any way for someone to access my network? Do I even need WEP enabled?

    I appreciate any help you can give me. THANKS!
     
  2. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #2
    yes security is a big issue. when i go wardriving linksys are always the easiest to crack. i have never found a linksys router that has wep used. buts that only half. so from jus that i can steal your bandwidth in the street. but many times when i type in 192.168.1.1 and type admin as password im in as well. then i can password it, turn of dhcp, basically make you internet a living hell. WEP protect your station, and password your web utility.

    edit: i didnt see that you turned off ssid. your not really secure, its someone will have to know there is base station there to access it, which probably nobody would know.

    iJon
     
  3. e-coli macrumors 68000

    e-coli

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    #3
    Linsys routers are easy easy easy to crack. I use my neighbors lynksys base station all the time (of course her doesn't know this). But I do it just for fun. :D

    I can see his computer on the network and everything.

    Use the WEP security with the Lynksys. Then go out of your way to set up even more...just to be safe. ;)
     
  4. blackpeter thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #4
    Thanks for replying iJon. How do I password protect my Web utility? I changed my Linksys SSID and password (from "admin") immedately. Is that what you mean?

    Also, you said that with SSID turned off, that someone would need to know that the base station was there to access it. But even if they could see it, wouldn't the MAC filtering prevent any non-listed computers from gaining access?

    I'm still looking for someone with a Linksys to tell me if they are successfully using WEP. Is there anybody out there using Linksys?
     
  5. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #5
    you should be secure. if you changed the password from admin your in good shape. mac filtering will also. you should know if you have wep on. if you have to enter a password in to get on the internet then wep is on. disconnect from your base staions and go to versiontracker and go download macstumbler and see if it picks up your network. if it doesnt than your in good shape. i think you have made your network secure and more time than it would be worth to hack. unless you pentagon documents or an outrageous collection of high quality porn that everyone wants.

    iJon
     
  6. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #6
    The passphrase you entered for the Linksys is not the network passord. That passphrase generates a 26 character password. Log into the Admin interface and at the bottom select Edit WEP Settings. When the WEP window opens, look at which radio box is selected for the transmit key (1, 2, 3, or 4). Whichever box is selected, use the corresponding WEP key.

    I use a Linksys 802.11b/g router with WEP and it works fine. And just because you turn off SSID does not mean someone cannot sniff your wireless network. It only means that the router does not broadcast or advertise the network. This may keep away the most innocent eavesdroppers, but if someone is actively looking they will have the right means to locate your network.

    The bottom line is to use every bit of security at your disposal to protect your network and your computers.
     
  7. blackpeter thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #7
    Kersh, thank you!

    I can finally connect using WEP. I didn't realize that the passphrase was the long string of numbers and letters (the key) and not the password I set up.

    Question though: Do I have to enter in all those numbers and letters every time I connect. Seems pretty tedious. How do you deal with this?
     
  8. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #8
    i believe you do, this is one of the reasons i didnt set a wep key and why i bought an apple airport.

    iJon
     
  9. blackpeter thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #9
    *Update*

    I don't have to enter in the passphrase every time I want to connect.

    As long as I'm broadcasting under the same key, it seems to remember the passphrase. Kersh, is that what is happening?

    So, to review:

    -Enabled WEP
    -Disabled SSID broadcasting
    -Enabled Wireless MAC ID for my Pismo

    ...am I missing anything? What else should I do to protect my new WiFi network?
     
  10. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #10
    Looks like you are on the right track. You are right, as long as you do not change the transmit key the key is stored in your keychain and will not need to be re-entered. I have done several updates, both OS X and Airport, as well as connected to other networks while traveling. As soon as I come home, I just pick my network and all is fine. Because the network/key is stored in your keychain, you should be good to go.
     
  11. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    WAP security is tricky and, according to some, is an impossibility. WEP can be cracked, MAC addresses can be spoofed, etc, etc.

    The main thing is to deter the casual wardrivers/neighbors from using your network and/or peeking at your traffic.

    I use WEP + MAC filter + SSID "hiding" and feel safe at home. :)
     
  12. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #12
    Yeah your pretty secure unless someone is really out to get you... when really no one is secure, my nextdoor neighboor and I have both cracked each others network, we go back and forth putting a background on eachothers computer
    'You Got Owned!' :D :p
     
  13. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #13
    MrMacman is right. If somebody WANTS to get into your network through the wireless connection, then your done. That's why all of the most secure networks in the world are in the center of buildings with no external connections. If you have SSID, WEP and MAC filtering on then your basically safer than 99% of the networks out there. A casual wardriver is just going to move onto the next one.

    "Hiding" your network isn't exaclty true because a frequency detector can pick up on signals but they would also look like cordless phones.

    BEN
     
  14. blackpeter thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #14
    Thanks again for everyone's help!

    I have found so many open wireless networks, or networks that are easily accessed using "admin" as the password. I'm just happy to have what little protection one is available.

    Thank You MacRumors!
     
  15. Pablo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    How did you disable SSID broadcasting, and still have your wireless network work?

    Whenever I disable broadcasting, my 17" Powerbook won't connect to the network (have checked "connect to the last network" and "remember password"), unlike my Dell which has asolutely no problem with it.
     
  16. phgreer macrumors regular

    phgreer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #16
    I use the Linksys on my system and use WEP. I had the same problem. I think with Macs you need to put a $ sign at the front of the wep key number on your Mac.
     
  17. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    #17
    There is a system setting (at least in Jaguar, and unfortunately I'm at work and can't confirm the exact location) that tells your Mac, upon waking or restarting, to connect to the last network it was on. I don't broadcast my ssid at home, and once I set it up to automatically reconnect I've never had to type in the network ID or password again.

    I'm also using the LinkSys wireless G, and I discovered that you can set your own keys. You're still restricted to numbers and letters A - F (or A - G? Don't remember) but you can come up with something that's more memorable to you than a 10-digit string generated at random. Just manually enter it into the key text field in your admin page, rather than entering a password or phrase and clicking the "Generate" button.
     
  18. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #18
    The first time you connect after you disable SSID, select the connect to other network option. Type in the network name and the password/key. After that you should connect. It will store the key in your keychain and you should be able to automatically connect. That is all I have done.
     
  19. yzedf macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #19
    Are you using DHCP ?

    If so, limit the number of users that can connect at once. I have 3 laptops in the house (iBook, IBM, Toshiba) so I turned on 128bit encryption, and limited the max DHCP to 4 (one desktop is connected by wire).
     
  20. Pablo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #20
    I've done that without luck but will give it another shot.

    I've also had problems with the keychain somehow losing that key/password out of the blue. I've opened Keychain Access, watched the account be created, but then a few weeks later it's mysteriously gone.
     
  21. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #21
    -tfaz1

    Try this from the guys who'll be knocking on your WLAN for the WWWD3 this week.
     

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