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How secure is a wireless network with only Mac filtering

With my Motorola SBG900 cable modem/router, I have WIRELESS SECURITY (Advanced Tab) set to "Allow Only Listed Stations Access" and MAC ACCESS CONTROL LIST turned on. Security Mode is set to NONE with no WEP or WPA (my choice for simplicity). This is the way I prefer it unless there's a real problem in allowing access by Mac Control List.

My feeling is that if the Mac list does the job, then why use WEP or WPA?

I live a good distance in the country and I doubt anyone would bother to get some free broadband bandwith so I'm not worried in that direction. But if there's any security issue I should khow about by not encrypting, login passwords, etc,  then please let me know what or any other problems using only the Mac list.
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Janrow
Asked:
Janrow
2 Solutions
 
jderaCommented:
Not good, Identity theft (or MAC spoofing) occurs when a cracker is able to listen in on network traffic and identify the MAC address of a computer with network privileges. Most wireless systems allow some kind of MAC filtering to only allow authorized computers with specific MAC IDs to gain access and utilize the network. However, a number of programs exist that have network sniffing capabilities. Combine these programs with other software that allow a computer to pretend it has any MAC address that the cracker desires, and the cracker can easily get around that hurdle..  No encryption realize that when you are sending data in that wireless environment it will not be encrypted and can easily be hacked.  Not even sure why wireless routers have options not to have security, makes no sense in this day and age.
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TreyHCommented:
Totally agree with jdera that MAC filtering by itself it totally useless in a risky area. But, security requirements is directly proportional to risk. My workplace is risky and I have to lock down everything as tight as possible. My home is like yours, out in the country. If someone got close enough to sniff my wireless, the neighbors dogs would go crazy (they do anyway), coyotes would howl, and the general wildlife would raise so much hell that the sniffers would probally leave in fear or at least someone would notice. So, for simplicity, my home wireless is wide open but I have my PC's passworded. The worse that could really happen is someone has time to send a death threat email  to an elected official via my IP and the secret service shows up at my door. I good attorney should be able to talk me out of that one. Fun aside, you really just have to consider the risk of the area you're running the wireless. I'd say if you're out in the country and know your closest neighbors, you'll be fine with just MAC filtering.
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JanrowAuthor Commented:
I'm now using WEP, primarily because I couldn't get my router security setttings to accept WPA. It always reverts to the previous setting of WEP. But anyway, I feel better now and thanks to you both for the discussion.
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