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Fun without wires

Archive for October, 2003

Stumbling Around My Neighbourhood

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Well, the first day that I got all my wireless equipment, I actually went for a bit of a wardrive around my neighbourhood, and found the following (interesting) details;

  • 20 different SSIDs scanned
  • 35 unique MAC-addressed nodes scanned
  • 8 WAPs encrypted with WEP [23%!]
  • 10 WAPs using what appear to be default SSIDs [29%]

I really want to get a GPS device of some sort so that I can start mapping these points properly, because at the moment all I can really do is either try to map them manually, or just live with only the details of what is found, rather than where it was found.

Written by Beau Lebens

October 27th, 2003 at 4:00 pm

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Long-Distance, High Speed Stumbling (Staggering?)

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I did a wardrive along a main highway (Stirling Hwy) all the way from Mosman Park to Freeway South, then down the freeway, off at Mill Point Road, down Labouchere Road and stopping at my house. Average speed would have been around the 60 km/hr pace, and here are the results;

  • 14 different SSIDs scanned
  • 19 unique MAC-addressed nodes scanned
  • 9 WAPs encrypted with WEP [47%]
  • 4 WAPs using what appear to be default SSIDs [21%]

I really want to get a GPS device of some sort so that I can start mapping these points properly, because at the moment all I can really do is either try to map them manually, or just live with only the details of what is found, rather than where it was found.

Written by Beau Lebens

October 27th, 2003 at 4:00 pm

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Where It’s At

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I’m based in Perth, Western Australia, south of the river, in a suburb called Como. Below you’ll find a series of maps that give you a good idea of where I am, in relation to the city etc.

Western Australia, focussing in on Perth
Western Australia, focussing in on Perth.

As you can see, I’m in a pretty dense area, and there’s a bunch of apartments and things like that around my suburb, so I’m hoping that once I get my laptop hooked up for some stumbling, that I can find some networks around the place.

Focussed in on my apartment block in Como
Focussed in on my apartment block in Como.

When I find other networks, I’ll post/update a map somewhere that will indicate all of the ones that I find 🙂

Images courtesy of SkyView WA, an excellent example of GIS, integrating satellite photos, geographic data and street maps, check it out.

Written by Beau Lebens

October 23rd, 2003 at 4:00 pm

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Game On!

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Well kids, I got all my gear, got hooked up, and am wirelessly accessing the ‘net now with no worries at all!

My set-up consists of a Netgear WG511 54 Mbps Wireless PC Card and a Netgear DG824M Wireless ADSL Modem Gateway with 4-port 10/100 Mbps Switch, both of which have performed very well so far!

Netgear WG511 Wireless PC Card

Written by Beau Lebens

October 23rd, 2003 at 4:00 pm

Pack It Up

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STM Ultra Laptop Backpack

When I go war-riding, I need to be able to carry my laptop securely and safely for a period of time, while riding around, scanning for networks. Since I used to carry my laptop around to work, and I didn’t want one of those shoulder-bags (they just scream out to be stolen because it’s so obvious what’s in them), I already had an STM Ultra Backpack, which is specifically made to be comfortable, secure and safe, while providing enough room to carry all the bits that you need for your laptop.

When riding around, I travel light and just take the laptop itself, in the padded inner-pouch, within the main bag. Luckily for me, the wireless card and the headphones both stick out at the same end, which makes it easy to put them up the same way so that the headphones cord can reach me while riding. I can then strap it all up securely and ride away, with my laptop safe and sound.

I highly reccommend STM bags, they are sturdy, provide a very secure ‘house’ for your laptop, and have plenty of little pockets and spaces to carry all sorts of other things. I easily carry my laptop, power supply, external USB hard drive and cable, mouse and a collection of phone cables and things like that, without a problem. The Ultra is comfortable, sits nicely on your back, and really doesn’t look like a laptop bag at all, it looks more like a stylin’ sports backpack of some sort.

Written by Beau Lebens

October 20th, 2003 at 4:00 pm

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Securing My Netgear Network

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On advice from someone who works in the DSD (pretty good advice on this sort of thing I’d say!), I went about securing my network as soon as I had it installed. This is basically all I had to do;

  1. Get connection going normally (unencrypted) between my WAP and my wireless-card-equipped laptop.
  2. Log into the admin interface on my WAP/switch
  3. Under the ‘Maintenance’ section, go to ‘Set Password’ and change the admin password for the administration interface (default is ‘password’ on Netgear devices)
  4. Under ‘Setup’ go to the ‘Wireless Settings’ and configure the WAP with the following details;
    1. Region: Australia (don’t know why this is required, but set it anyway)
    2. SSID: ansible (see previous post about origin of this name)
    3. Click to ‘Configure WEP’
      1. Leave ‘Authentication Type’ on ‘Automatic’
      2. Set ‘Encryption’ to 128-bit
      3. Enter a passphrase (remember it, will need for the PC Card later, and if anyone else is going to access this network)
      4. Click ‘Generate Keys’ and ‘Apply’ when done to save it all to the WAP, this will reboot WAP to initiate settings (losing wireless connection in the process, because I am no longer authorised to connect!)
  5. On the ‘Security’ tab of the config utility for my PC Card (on my laptop) adjust the following settings;
    1. ‘Enable Encryption’ (check this box to turn it on)
    2. Change ‘Key Length’ to ‘104/128 bit’
    3. Under ‘Create with Passphrase’ enter the same passphrase as was used on the WAP
    4. Click ‘Apply’ to save the settings, then go to the ‘Status’ tab and click ‘Re-Scan’ which connects back onto the WAP (using encryption this time)
  6. Now that we are connected using WEP, we are little more secure, but we also want to restrict connections to only certain MAC addresses (the hardware signature of the PC card).
  7. Get the MAC for you wireless card; I got mine by going back to the WAP admin, then selecting ‘Attached Devices’ under ‘Maintenance’.
  8. Again, under the ‘Wireless Settings’ under ‘Setup’ in the WAP admin interface, we now click the ‘Trusted PCs’ button under the ‘Access Point’ section (to specify trusted PCs)
  9. Enter the MAC for your wireless card in the space provided and click ‘Add’ – mine came up with the name of my machine next to the MAC, so I assume it is either encoded in the MAC, or it contacted my machine and asked (?)
  10. Click ‘Back’ when you’re done so we can turn on the security access based on MAC.
  11. Now select ‘Trusted PCs only’ under ‘Allow access by:’ so that only those machines on your trusted list can connect.
  12. Click ‘Apply’ to save these changes and reboot the WAP. You should reconnect successfully once it’s on again, since you are now on the trusted list. If you have another device, try connecting to confirm that it’s secure. I haven’t been able because I don’t have anything else, but I assume it just won’t be able to connect 🙂

More security info to come, including some experiments with things like AirSnort hopefully 🙂

Written by Beau Lebens

October 19th, 2003 at 4:00 pm