Unknown PC displayed in my Finder. Cause for concern?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Huze, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Huze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    #1
    I have a closed wireless network (WEP password required) and I've seen an unknown PC show up in the "Shared" section of my Finder. Is this cause for concern? Would this indicate that my network has been hacked?
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    Not necessarily, although WEP is pretty easy to crack.

    What the name of the new PC that you see. Some folks routers show up as a PC sometimes.
     
  3. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2005
    #3
    I'm at work right now, but if memory serves, the name was something like "chwlyl989". That's a rough approximation -- the name was nonsensical.
     
  4. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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  5. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Nope. PC-free zone.

    Quick follow-on question: Per the Aiport Extreme's help docs, a "closed network" would require someone to know the name of the network to get online. Is that hackable as well?
     
  6. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #6
    What kind of router are you using ? Also,if possible you should change it to WPA-2.
     
  7. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    Washington D.C. Area
    #7
    I would have to agree because WEP can be hacked very easily these days. Having WEP encryption really is almost like having no encryption at all because of how easy it is to hack into.
     
  8. MikeDTyke macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Absolutely, hiding the SSID is only a minor roadblock to someone getting on your net. You can also apply MAC address filtering which again is a minor roadblock.

    I would change your network password immediately and set authentication to WPA2 personal immediately if your router supports it.

    Unless your mac is on some other additional network, this means this PC is on your wireless lan. Whether they can get what's on your mac depends on if you have a password set on your mac, wether you are sharing any files and whether you have the macos firewall switched on.

    Best of luck, personally i like to track these ba*tards down, but without the experience you'll be in for a steep learning curve. Best to close the barn door.

    Cheers M.
     
  9. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    Dec 17, 2007
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    Syracuse, NY
    #9
    I doubt they're actually on your network. More likely is that THEY have sharing turned on, and you're seeing their PC, not vice-versa.
     
  10. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2005
    #10
    I don't run as an admin, so I should be good on that front. File sharing is off (I'm using an Airport Extreme - 802.11n) and the firewall is on.

    The main/only reason I use WEP is my friggin' Xbox 360, which only understands WEP. Thanks Microsoft!

    To get back to the original question, should I be concerned? Again, file sharing is off (I'm using an Airport Extreme - 802.11n) and the firewall is on.

    That sounds more reasonable to me. All of my neighbors are elderly and it seems unlikely that one of them has the ability to hack a wireless network.

    With that being said, is there a way to confirm if this is the case?
     
  11. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    #11
    Not that I know of, but maybe someone smarter than me knows a way.
     
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #12
    Huze, how is your network setup? Do you have your own cable/DSL modem that plugs directly into your wireless router?
     
  13. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2005
    #13
    Yes, my cable modem is plugged directly into my router.
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #14
    The way his network is setup (his cable modem going straight into his Airport), if someone shows up, I can't think of any other way that they're not on his network.

    If his neighbors have their sharing turned out, it shouldn't ever spill out of their own network over into his network.

    Any chance that your Mac somehow connected to someone else's unprotected wireless network? If that were the case, then if they had any PCs sharing stuff, they'd show up in your Finder.
     
  15. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2005
    #15
    Nothing comes to mind. I guess it might be possible if my iMac's Airport Express is polling for a network, can't find my network for some reason, and then stumbles upon the open one?

    Does *that* sound possible/reasonable?
     
  16. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #16
    I'm not totally sure if it will automatically join a network it stumbles upon, but if it could, that'd be one explanation. :confused:

    Next time you see that PC, you could also check the logs of your Airport Extreme (using the Airport Utility program on your Mac) and see if anything shows up there, especially under the DHCP area and connection speed areas. If you see another device listed there besides your iMac and 360, then someone's connected somehow!

    If someone was really hacking your network, I can't believe that'd they'd be as visible as they are. :eek:
     
  17. jamesarm97 macrumors 65816

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #17
    Um, I have an Xbox 360 and it is connected to my wireless using WPA. It only supports WPA/WEP, not WPA2:

    "Some copies of the instruction manual for the Xbox 360 Wireless Networking Adapter state that the adapter is compatible with the WPA2 security standard. At this time the adapter works only with WPA and WEP security"
     
  18. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2005
    #18
    Crap. I had no idea. *blush*

    How does WPA hold up when you consider my network configuration?
     
  19. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #19
    Better than WEP, at least according to what people say. :)

    It is entirely possible, if their network is wide open (no password or hidden SSID). I've seen it happen. It's something to look for but still unlikely that the Mac would prefer some random network over the OP's own.

    Definitely turn on WPA or WPA2 (if the Xbox is compatible), hide the SSID, and enable MAC address filtering if you can. Change the name of your network once hidden and come up with some new passwords as well. Nothing is hack-proof but that will make it a lot harder, and if it is someone else connecting to your network, that would likely stop them.

    If you still see this unknown PC show up, it might be some device of your own connected to the network, one that you wouldn't expect to show up at all.
     
  20. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #20
    It's your router!!

    If you are using a router (not an Airport one) then it could be it! I have a BT Home Hub, which is a manufactured by Thomson. I keep seeing thomson creep up into my shared list, and finally worked out is was my router, as it has a USB on the back of it for disk sharing, so to access the disk you had to connect to "thomson". Also it shows up when no disk is connected.

    Just check before changing your encryption method, as you may not have to!
     
  21. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #21
    As long as you don't have file sharing or anything like that, just let the guy leach off your internets...

    If you want them off, do yourself some WPA. WEP is a joke.
     
  22. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    Rome
    #22
    Is this on a laptop that you use to connect to other wireless networks?

    See this thread.
     
  23. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2008
    #23
    @apfhex

    I have 2 iMacs, one in a room right above my Airport Extreme N, and one further to the other side. I used to have them both just connect to the Extreme, but since have changed my setup. Now, on to my point. The farther one used to always connect to my neighbor's wireless network rather than our own because it had a stronger signal in that area. So, it will find a better network if it needs to.

    I have solved that problem however with an Airport Express that just sits in that room to extend the signal.

    @dylanbrown

    He stated that he is currently using an Airport router

    To the OP:
    If you are really concerned about security, you could get an Airport Express and hook that up to a wall socket near the XBOX 360 and plug an ethernet cable from the Express's port into the 360. That way, you can use a better security standard and use live by bypassing your XBOX wireless adapter. (It works, I have used mine like that for a bit)
     
  24. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #24
    but only the new ones with N, if you go cheap and get an older B/G express off ebay, it won't work.
     
  25. Huze thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    #25
    Good call. Completely forgot about the Airport Express. One question: is it possible to split the line coming out of the Express? I have a PS3 and a Wii next to my 360 and it'd be nice to use an 802.11n connection for all 3 devices.
     

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