My friend John gave me an excellent link today, for those of us out there with laptops that have built in wireless adapters. We have three in our household and I found this an interesting read, although of course our network and wireless activity is so freaking secure, and we USE software and hardware FIREWALLs (hell-O freaking people who don't- pull your heads out of your asses!) so this really doesn't apply to us as much as it is good information to know, maybe some of you out there will find it interesting.
And this spawns today's Tip- Things you need to do to have a truly "secure" wireless network.
1. Change the SSID. Duh. No more "linksys"
2. Disable the broadcast on the SSID
3. Change the IP address of the router from the default
4. Change the Administration Password on the Router (duh again)
5. Limit the Number of IP Addresses you hand out over DHCP. Count your maximum number of computers and enter that number in the number of IP Addresses you can have handed out at once.
6. Enable a Wireless MAC Filter. Enter the MAC Address on each Wireless Device. You can determine the MAC Address of the machine by going to a command prompt and typing ipconfig /all and hitting enter. It is listed as a Physical Address and is a hex number (0-9, a-e) and is seperated at two digit intervals with a dash... (or in the MAC Filter window of your router properties, it is by colons) Make sure you choose the MAC Address for the WIRELESS ADAPTER.
7. Generate a 128 hexadecimal 26 Digit WEP key and KEEP IT SECRET and in a safe place (safe place does not mean in a word document whose name is "WEP KEY" or "password.") Only give this WEP key to trusted sources, or better off NO ONE and if you let someone use your wireless network, give out your key, and then they leave, you can always change the key after they leave.
8. Enable the Hardware Firewall on your Router. Don't have one? Buy a new Router with a built in firewall.
9. If you have strictly 802.11b or 802.11g wireless devices, set your router to accept one or the other, instead of mixed. When we have a friend come over who uses 802.11b, I have to go to my router to change the setting to mixed so he can get one the network, but it only takes a second and it ensures that no war driving SOB is going to get onto my network with a 802.11b.
If I have lost you, I apologize. If you don't know what you are doing, HIRE SOMEONE. And I mean SOMEONE who does know what they are doing. For god's sakes, if you haven't done these things, your network is not secure, and neither is any of the information you are transmitting over your wireless network, including your passwords.