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  #11  
Old Jul 25th 2011, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: PC Wireless

As a side note I was amazed at how many available networks showed up with the N adapters or dongles.
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: PC Wireless

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As a side note I was amazed at how many available networks showed up with the N adapters or dongles.
More powerful radios, I suppose. It's also possible that they now pick up the non-broadcasting networks. That's been the case for a long time if you're using Linux-based connection schemes. If I fire up my rooted Android phone or my Linux netbook, I can see all sorts of information about all the networks around me - even those that don't broadcast.

I used to think I might sometime write a little cracker for the machine or my phone that would let me help myself to people's networks, but the utility is kind of gone from that proposition. I can tether with my rooted phone anywhere and I have no interest in snooping people's networks/communications, so why bother?
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 07:51 PM
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More powerful radios, I suppose. It's also possible that they now pick up the non-broadcasting networks. That's been the case for a long time if you're using Linux-based connection schemes. If I fire up my rooted Android phone or my Linux netbook, I can see all sorts of information about all the networks around me - even those that don't broadcast.

I used to think I might sometime write a little cracker for the machine or my phone that would let me help myself to people's networks, but the utility is kind of gone from that proposition. I can tether with my rooted phone anywhere and I have no interest in snooping people's networks/communications, so why bother?
That's interesting to me. I wasn't aware non-broadcasting networks are exposed to Linux systems. Yet another gaping Windows security flaw?

Like you I have no interest in anyone else's network. I did see a couple that had no security, which made me wonder if they didn't care, didn't know or are traps. My county LE now has a dedicated task force operating in conjunction with a state task force to investigate computer fraud relating to identity theft, the fastest growing crime sector here. Newspaper articles have described how after Facebook is used for obtaining basic personal info wireless communications are the secondary step for hackers to obtain bank account and credit card info.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 01:46 AM
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That's interesting to me. I wasn't aware non-broadcasting networks are exposed to Linux systems. Yet another gaping Windows security flaw?
I wouldn't call it a Windows security flaw or even an oversight. They're probably just respecting privacy. It's more that Linux and FOSS communities are filled with tinkerers and so you always get the most configurable stuff. Calling a network "non-broadcasting" is kind of a misnomer -- it's more like "non-advertising". It has to emit a radio pule in order to work; the 'non-broadcasting' ones just don't conform to the notification protocol. You could probably download a client on Windows that picks up non-broadcasting ones too. Linux just supplies one by default (at least the command line version that I use does).

Like you I have n
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o interest in anyone else's network. I did see a couple that had no security, which made me wonder if they didn't care, didn't know or are traps. My county LE now has a dedicated task force operating in conjunction with a state task force to investigate computer fraud relating to identity theft, the fastest growing crime sector here. Newspaper articles have described how after Facebook is used for obtaining basic personal info wireless communications are the secondary step for hackers to obtain bank account and credit card info.
I suppose it could be a trap for identity thieves, though I think running a non-secured network means that you forfeit the right for people not to use it for internet access (I'm actually not sure if that's right or not -- been a while since I looked into it).

Personally, if I were the sort of scumbag that stole people's identities, Facebook would be my first stop. I'd see if I could procure first/middle/last name, and then i'd jot down birth date, significant other name, children's names, parent's names, etc. From there, I'd run a quick cross reference on friends to triangulate home town (looking up the location of nearby hospitals and elementary schools so that I could later key off of "forgot your password" questions as well).

I'd plop all that information into a little database, encrypt the words using a variety of standard schemes and then crack their wireless network to setup a packet sniffer that would stream traveling bytes looking for matches to the encrypted words. If any of them showed up, I'd have the program log recent and subsequent HTTP request signatures (i.e. the URL request string, like "http://yourbankname.com/action.do") and help myself to the login credentials. Either that, or I'd poke around for a machine vulnerability so that I could install a keystroke logger and save myself the effort.

Of course, sites these days make you put numbers/symbols/mixed case, so I'd probably write a little program to generate encrypted variations of the actual strings I'd mined. So, a woman with a daughter named Mary would get a series of strings like "mary123", "Mary123", "123Mary", etc.

Anyway, probably not the most sophisticated scheme, but I'm just freewheeling here. I'm a software designer -- not a thief.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 09:52 AM
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There seem to be plenty of thieves out there with the skills required for electronic identity theft. While it doesn't affect the nothing to lose crowd anyone with assets should be aware of potential consequences from unsecured data communications including social networking.
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  #16  
Old Jul 26th 2011, 11:12 AM
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There seem to be plenty of thieves out there with the skills required for electronic identity theft. While it doesn't affect the nothing to lose crowd anyone with assets should be aware of potential consequences from unsecured data communications including social networking.
I subscribe to a credit monitoring service, which gives me some peace of mind. If anyone opened a credit card in my name or ran up a balance on an existing one, I'd know about it fairly promptly.

Of course, on the other side of things, I tend to actively manage my privacy settings on sites in which I participate. It's not bulletproof by any stretch, but it makes me a less appealing target.
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