Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

What Do I Need to Unplug to Protect my Network?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Holly65

Holly65

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:53 PM

This is related to privacy protection so I hope I am posting in the 'right' forum. I am stuck using older computer for about another month. Needless to say, the browser that works with the computer's old OS is waaaaay outdate, and thus likely vulnerable to attack. I have been very careful thus far while using the Internet. I keep javascript disabled, unless I absolutely have to turn it on to access a website or log-in. I don't click on links in web email and I only visit websites that I know or trust. After each session, I unplug the ethernet cable. Question: Do I also need to be unplugging my wireless router when I am not on the 'net?

The reason I ask is...I have been reading up about this new trend called 'wardriving' where (mostly young/male) drivers scout neighborhoods trying to pick up data from unsecured networks. Some guy was parked in front of our building recently (for hours) and he was on his laptop the entire time. No telling what he was up to. It made me wonder whether I should also be unplugging the modem when not in use. It's an inconvenience, sure, because I have to wait for it to ramp back up each time I plug it back in, but if it's necessary, I would have no problem doing that.

I just don't know enough to know what is techically possible, if, worse case scenarious, someone did hack into my network. I don't know what they would have access to, quite frankly.

Any replies are greatly appreciated. Also, I have no idea how secure my network is. All I know is I am using an old browser/computer. The router is a 'wireless' modem. I don't use the wireless capability since this older laptop's wireless modem no longer works. I hook up using an ethernet cable.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 SleepyDude

SleepyDude

  • Malware Response Team
  • 3,195 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portugal
  • Local time:05:32 PM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:25 PM

Hi,

Because you don't use wireless you should check the modem/router configuration and see if you can disable the wireless signal.
If you disable wireless it will be almost impossible to connect to your network from outside.

• Please do not PM me asking for support. Post on the forums instead it will increases the chances of getting help for your problem by one of us.
• Posts in the Malware section that are not replied to within 4 days will be closed. PM me or a moderator to reactivate.
• Please post your final results, good or bad. We like to know! Thank you!

 
Proud graduate of GeekU and member of UNITE
___
Rui

 
 


#3 Animal

Animal

    Bleepin' Animinion


  • Members
  • 35,905 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Where You Least Expect Me To Be
  • Local time:09:32 AM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:29 PM

Another option if your modem/router cannot turn off wireless, is to set a secure password for the wireless connection. Make sure you use the strongest encryption setting available on the hardware.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Follow BleepingComputer on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+


#4 noknojon

noknojon

  • Banned
  • 10,871 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:03:32 AM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:28 PM

Needless to say, the browser that works with the computer's old OS is waaaaay outdate

Hi Holly -
The idea that your Browser is outdated is (naturally) quite incorrect - It is the rest of the setup you are talking about.
A "browser" is the program (Internet Explorer / Firefox / Opera / Etc) that you use to browse the internet with, and nothing more than that.

<< It made me wonder whether I should also be unplugging the modem when not in use. >>
Believe it, or not, if I am out of the house for more than about 1 hour, and at nights, I do turn the computer AND the modem off at the wall each time -
While some say it is not required, you have just given a good example to all of why this should be done.

A modem, even an older model, will kick back in after a few minutes generally, about the time it takes to make a coffee.
Your ISP normally asks you to set the password etc (by default) as Admin, but this is very unwise in most cases, since this is the first thing they look for

Have you noticed any high usage recently on your internet bill, or do you not have this option provided by your ISP.
I click on My Usage and Log into my ISP Account to see the daily usage at any time for any day
See this link >> http://imageshack.us/a/img12/7351/accountdetails.jpg

Hope your new setup solves your problems soon :)

#5 Holly65

Holly65
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:34 PM

Hi,

Because you don't use wireless you should check the modem/router configuration and see if you can disable the wireless signal.
If you disable wireless it will be almost impossible to connect to your network from outside.


Thanks, I will look into this. It may already be shut down, but I need to check that to make sure.

#6 Holly65

Holly65
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:43 PM

Another option if your modem/router cannot turn off wireless, is to set a secure password for the wireless connection. Make sure you use the strongest encryption setting available on the hardware.


On my other computer, the one that failed, I could go to settings/control panel/networking, and then right click on something to disable wireless (if memory serves). I just looked and on this computer/O.S. I can't seem to find where the setting for that is.

I think I'll call my ISP tomorrow to see if I can get some help. It's probably a good idea to review the setup again, in light of what I read recently about it's not that difficult to hack into networks.

#7 Holly65

Holly65
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:54 PM

Needless to say, the browser that works with the computer's old OS is waaaaay outdate

Hi Holly -
The idea that your Browser is outdated is (naturally) quite incorrect - It is the rest of the setup you are talking about.
A "browser" is the program (Internet Explorer / Firefox / Opera / Etc) that you use to browse the internet with, and nothing more than that.

<< It made me wonder whether I should also be unplugging the modem when not in use. >>
Believe it, or not, if I am out of the house for more than about 1 hour, and at nights, I do turn the computer AND the modem off at the wall each time -
While some say it is not required, you have just given a good example to all of why this should be done.

A modem, even an older model, will kick back in after a few minutes generally, about the time it takes to make a coffee.
Your ISP normally asks you to set the password etc (by default) as Admin, but this is very unwise in most cases, since this is the first thing they look for

Have you noticed any high usage recently on your internet bill, or do you not have this option provided by your ISP.
I click on My Usage and Log into my ISP Account to see the daily usage at any time for any day
See this link >> http://imageshack.us/a/img12/7351/accountdetails.jpg

Hope your new setup solves your problems soon :)


Hi -- Thanks for all the info. I don't monitor internet useage or even look at a bill -- I just pay it! So I have no idea if there has been a change in usage on my account. I will have my ISP check that when I am next on the phone with them. That's interesting that you disconnect the router. Until today (yesterday, rather) I was only disconnecting the ethernet cable, but after I saw someone sitting in his car in the street outside our building, I went right in and disconnected the modem. Ha ha. For all I know he was reading the bible online, but it made me nervous so I unplugged the modem. Plus, I am pretty sure I don't have the best WPA (is that the name?) protection, since this is an older router. I need to upgrade the router so I can get WPA2. I'll get all that when I get the new computer. In the meanwhile, I am trying to stay safe (and unhacked!). Anyway, appreciate the input.

#8 Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom

    OBleepin Investigator


  • Moderator
  • 37,112 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Bloomington, IN
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:59 PM

The idea that your Browser is outdated is (naturally) quite incorrect -


Actually, using an older browser does open up additional security problems. I believe the OS in question is Windows ME. That means, IE is woefully out of date and unpatched. That is quite possibly true with the other browser options. The patched and more secure versions of the browsers won't work on older non-supported OS's.

Orange Blossom :cherry:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

Orange Blossom

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

SpywareBlaster, WinPatrol Plus, ESET Internet Security, NoScript Firefox ext.


animinionsmalltext.gif

#9 Holly65

Holly65
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:22 PM


The idea that your Browser is outdated is (naturally) quite incorrect -


Actually, using an older browser does open up additional security problems. I believe the OS in question is Windows ME. That means, IE is woefully out of date and unpatched. That is quite possibly true with the other browser options. The patched and more secure versions of the browsers won't work on older non-supported OS's.

Orange Blossom :cherry:


Yes, ME is the OS and I have done all the 'upgrades' possible to anti-virus and browsers but I am very limited as to what is compatible with ME. I think IE is at 6.0 or something. That's the latest I could use with ME.

Use of this computer was SUPPOSED to be temporary (and I love the keyboard) but looks like I am stuck with it for another month.

I called my ISP today, and they tell me my network is as secure as it's going to get. We looked everything over. The one thing we DID do was disable the network SSID broadcast. They had me keep 'wireless security settings' enabled (checkmarked) and said that protected me if someone did get on the network. All I know is that is protected with a password as well, and it's custom, so even if someone got access to my router and could get the encryption key, it would not work. I don't know. I give up. They said that my system is secure. They also said that unplugging the ethernet cable

#10 noknojon

noknojon

  • Banned
  • 10,871 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:03:32 AM

Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

This is related to privacy protection so I hope I am posting in the 'right' forum. <<
The reason I ask is...I have been reading up about this new trend called 'wardriving' <<

@ Orange Blossom :cherry:
By my reply I meant that the Modem was to be the problem to look at, and not the browser being open to infections etc (which it is) -
I did note that some previous questions were ME related, but the question related to the current Modem only, and not the OS.
The idea that your Browser is outdated is (naturally) quite incorrect - It is the rest of the setup you are talking about. <<
The Browser is as updated as it can be (usually IE6), so my reply must be correct, as we are replying to the Modem question only .......

Do I also need to be unplugging my wireless router when I am not on the 'net?
<< This is what I basically replied to only -
And I stand by my given answer that I turn off my Modem (and computer) at the wall if I am away, or off line, for 1 or more hours, plus at nights, for security mainly
Unplugging the Ethernet cable alone will not actually change the problem, as the wifi signal is still open, and I have just proved this with a Cell Phone and F/book
We are about to go shopping, and both will be turned off at the wall as I will be away for about 2 hours or so, as I normally do -

Thank You -

#11 Didier Stevens

Didier Stevens

  • BC Advisor
  • 2,753 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:06:32 PM

Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:28 AM

Internet Explorer 6 is still supported by Microsoft on Windows XP SP3, but not on Windows ME.
This means that a fully patched Internet Explorer 6 on Windows ME contains vulnerabilities that have been patched on Windows XP SP3.

So yes, Internet Explorer 6 on Windows ME is outdated compared to Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP SP3, even it is up-to-date patch-wise.

Edited by Didier Stevens, 21 September 2012 - 10:41 AM.

Didier Stevens
http://blog.DidierStevens.com
http://DidierStevensLabs.com

SANS ISC Senior Handler
Microsoft MVP 2011-2016 Consumer Security, Windows Insider MVP 2016-2019
MVP_Horizontal_BlueOnly.png

 

If you send me messages, per Bleeping Computer's Forum policy, I will not engage in a conversation, but try to answer your question in the relevant forum post. If you don't want this, don't send me messages.

 

Stevens' law: "As an online security discussion grows longer, the probability of a reference to BadUSB approaches 1.0"


#12 noknojon

noknojon

  • Banned
  • 10,871 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:03:32 AM

Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:42 PM

So yes, Internet Explorer 6 on Windows ME is outdated compared to Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP SP3, even it is up-to-date patch-wise.

And I agree 100% with this as I stated above by "being open to infections etc (which it is)" since the OS is not supported any more -




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users