When Gretchen and I first got DSL and setup our home wireless network, we were the only one’s on the block. Then the guy behind us got wifi, but only because he was a computer programmer geek.
Now, when I kick on my airport card to select a network, it looks like this:
There are six separate networks, all within broadcast range of our house.
And now, a word about wireless network security: I can join all 5 of the 6 networks that are not ours.
2 are totally unprotected, open to anyone to join.
2 of the networks still have the default network name assigned by the browser, so I assumed that the person setting it up hadn’t changed the default password either. I put my elite hacking skills to work, and it took me exactly 2 tries to join each one. One had the password “default” and the other had the password “admin”.
The last one is my favorite. They took the time to rename their network, and to give it a password. The password? exactly the same as the network name.
Not only that, but on 3 of the 5 netorks, I can access the admin panel of their router by using the default password. I can change their wireless network settings without their permission.
On one of those networks, there is an un-firewalled, unprotected connection directly to the family’s home computer.
Secure your wifi connections! Just like you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, you shouldn’t leave control of your home network unlocked.
This concludes the Addison Road PSA on Wifi Security. The more you know …