Monday, September 7, 2015

Preventing unauthorized access to WIFI network

WiFi has become a standard network for every household in the world. Almost every house in the world that subscribed to Internet uses WiFi for networking system. Do you know WIFI network could easily breaked over by intruders? Do you know counter measures on preventing unauthorized access to WIFI network? There are 3 common types of WiFi in the world:

1. Open WiFi
2. WEP protected WiFi
3. WPA/WPA2 protected

Open WiFi commonly used in public WiFi hotspot and hotel along with a user control gateway portal. Everyone can connect to the network but only users with valid username and password could access the Internet. There is also some users that use open WiFi for their private network risking unauthorized access to the network

WEP protected network is the oldest and weaker type of protection. Attacker could use tools such as Xiaopan or Kali Linux and perform ARP poisioning attack to gain access to the network. 

WPA/WPA2 so far is the strongest type of protection against penetration attack. It is possible to hack WPA but will take much longer time assisted with a set of guessed password list. There is a tool named reaver to shorten the time needed to hack WPA password. Some older devices doesn't support WPA type network. If this is the case, use other means of protection such as MAC fitering.

How to prevent unauthorized access

1. Disable WPS Pin Code.
WPS is WiFi protected Setup designed to ease the process on registering new devices to a wireless network. There are 2 types of WPS, Pin Code and Push Button. Push button is more secure to attack
because it needs physical access to the router push button compared to PIN code which  is very unsecured. Xiaopan and Kali LINUX users can take less than 5 minutes to crack the PIN code using Reaver

2. Use WPA/WPA2
WPA/WPA2 is more advanced and more secure than WEP authentication. Refer to your modem's manual on how to change the encryption type. Cracked WEP key could also be used to crack encrypted data travelling through your network risking leak of sensitive information. Use WPA/WPA2 instead of WEP

3. MAC filtering
This is for me the safest method to protect your network against unauthorized access unless the intruders have physical access to your devices and spoof their MAC with your MAC address. Using this method, only allowed MAC address given access to the network. Xiaopan or Kali Linux would never get any chance to crack your network.

4. Use wireless access gateway
This system is used for Internet access in hotels and paid hotspot scattered around the globe. Username and passwords are created in random and could only be used once. Hotel's or restaurant owner should use this system to protect their network.

Some people take a light attention to network security. They think of "Nothing loss, only some speed reduced". However there are so many possibilities that could be done by the intruders once they got access to your network listed but not limited to below:

1. Read your ISP's username and password.
Routers' configuration embedded web server usually doesn't use HTTPS. The password field is masked but could be easily unmasked using inspect element function. They could use your login info on their DSL line.

2. Change your router configuration admin username and password
Many users use default supplied router admin username and password which is attainable with a click on google. They could login to you router and change the username and password preventing you to change the WIFI password

3. Read sensitive data.
Cracked wireless key means your encrypted data could also be decrypted using the same key. Your phone number, sosial number, corporate email or your banking details could be read by the intruders.

Remember, our network is our network. Protected network means protected data and sensitive information. If your network suddenly becomes slower and your routers LEDs are blinking heavily, out of usual. Check your wireless network client. Your network could be attacked by someone. Take action and use counter measures to prevent unauthorized access to your precious WIFI network.


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