Wireless security

Posted on 2006-04-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I have a wireless router setup in my house. It's coverage goes outside of the house though. It is not a secured network since I let friends use it. But what about if someone on the street or my neighbour is using it to acess the web, is there a way I can monitor the activity?
Question by:shawnwilliamson
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    its probably easier to enable WEP or WPA security, disable the advertisement of your SSID and enable specific MAC addresses to access your WLAN, than it is to track down unwanted users.  I am pretty sure that there are sniffers or other packages that can be used to monitor activity; unfortunately I haven't use any.

    (It only takes a few minutes to enable this on your friends computers so that they may use you WLAN)


    Author Comment

    I really wanted to keep it open but monitor the traffic.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Etherpeek seems to be the popular package for viewing IP traffic; it seems to be commonly referenced here.

    I believe they also have Airopeek which may require a PC and WLAN card.  

    Again I haven't used these products.

    I doubt the average leecher is interested in hacking your system; but better be safe than sorry.  You may want to install a software firewall on your wired PCs just in case.

    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    oops its ethereal that's referenced here alot.

    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    by:Bing CISM / CISSP
    > I really wanted to keep it open but monitor the traffic.

    hehe, are you going to make a honey pot? :))

    well, most wireless routers support syslog function which enables you to monitor traffic (particularly for outgoing traffic) by receiving all or filtered events on a specific computer running syslog client program. you may check if your router supports this or not. commonly, you just need to specify a host to receive the log and enable syslog.

    for actually checking the content of broadcasting packets, you need to run a kind of sniffing utilities, such as Ethereal mentioned above. you can not intercepte other parties conversation with this way.

    hope it helps,
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Does your router having a logging feature? You could enable that.... but if someone can guess your admin password, they could just clear out your logs. Even better yet, you could also have a machine running an IDS like Snort (

    Another option would be to have 802.1X authentication and set up a RADIUS server so that only authenticated users could actually log in. No need for a preshared key (even though that would usually be sufficient), just username/password combination. Check out things like OpenRADIUS and FreeRADIUS if you want more information.

    (Dlink and some other companies make also hotspot gateways, which would do the 802.1X without buying anything additional and would simply replace your router, but they've generally cost like $400+, so I didn't put that up for consideration)

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