Dispelling the Myth of Wireless Security
Subject:   It has to exist to be insecure
Date:   2003-10-23 20:04:39
From:   anonymous2
The other evening a friend had me check out his system and help set up his POP email client as he'd only been able to use web-based mail since he switched to DSL. His Mac's networking was set for DHCP but there was no PPPoE info entered making me think that the modem hand some brains and must be configurable. I was curious enough to peek at the configuration/status page for the modem. Low and behold his DSL modem included an 802.11 access point, turned on by default, and he didn't even know it had that feature! He'd opted for a fancier modem on being told it had a firewall. It was a "Wire2" modem. Besides having wireless on when he didn't have use for it, security features in that modem were awful. It has no Mac filtering on the 802.11b, and the so-called firewall only had the option of blocking two ports (139 and one other) everything else was forwarded! I enabled a software firewall on his machine and it showed him being hit about every 30 seconds. Lucky for him he wasn't running a Windows box! It's ironic that he'd switched from cable to DSL over worries that a neighbor was somehow messing with his system. Nothing like having the nearly clueless being guided by a nearly clueless ISP. It's really irresponsible for an ISP to put average consumers online with great speeds and little or incorrect security guidance.