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Ever hooked into an unprotected wireless network


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My sister's brand new laptop just arrived on the doorstep (it's a bit of a surprise for her as her last one crashed), so i'm just setting it up for her to surprise her when she gets home tonight.

Anyway, more to the point - it's a centrino machine (for those that don't know, that means it can access wireless networks with an inbuilt card) - and as soon as I turned it on, it's detected a wireless network 2 houses away with "Very Good" signal strength.

These guys have NO security/encryption on it, so I hooked in and was surfing the internet off their broadband connection within seconds.

Obviously i'm not an asshole, so i'm not going to download a bunch of shit off their account (I confess, I did all the Windows Updates with it - makes things 50x faster than my dialup) - but this really raises the question to me of how many other unprotected networks around there are like it.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? What did you do?

Edited by highvoltageacdc
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It's actually a pretty common mistake to not enqrypt your wireless network. Wireless Home Networks have grown very popular but the knowledge about them does not go hand in hand.

This has been discuss many times but I don't think it's illegal. Possibly morally wrong. It's highly unliked to get caught using someone elses wireless network and the law havn't been really tested for this yet.

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tried hacking into one before when mine broke but didn't work :(

mine is unprotected because i don't no how to do it <_<

If you're not very used to computers, the easiest way is to use to installations CD and run the the walktrough guide.

You can also check the installation manual, there's definitely a section for enqryption in there.

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Everyone who has a wireless network at home should make sure they follow these 4 steps to secure their wireless networks :

1. Disable your wireless network when you don't need it!

2. Don't broadcast your SSID (Network name). Instead, enter it manually in the wireless connection of your laptop. If no one "sees" your wireless network, it will be a lott harder to use it or hack it. Make sure you choose a very complicated SSID and make sure it's not guessable.

3. Enable the filtration by "MAC address". The only laptop who will be authorised on your wireless network will be the one that has the MAC address you have specified.

4. Enable the Wireless Encryption (WPA-PSK is safer than WEP). You'll be asked to enter a "passphrase", make sure you it very complicated and not guessable.

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My friend does that :laugh:

But not all the time though, just for a laugh

People must be really stupid not to encrypt it...

It has nothing to do with being stupid. It's a new technology for the common home user.

That's right...

on topic: No, it never happened to me- but I'm aware of that.. I suggest people to NOT download things off the "network owner" or so account.. you can never know what it really is...

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