Hotel Hot Spot - What am I broadcasting?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by CRyan, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    First question. If I am on a free non-secure wireless connection, what is being tracked? - assuming there is no malicious intent. Basically, if there is no one on the network trying to look at my PC, is my laptop and wireless card broadcasting anything about my PC normally? PC name? MAC address? Anything?

    Is anything being recorded in a normal non-malicious wirless hot spot system?

    Second Question. Is there a free tool that I can download to see if there are people trying to access my PC on the network? I have a firwall and have disabled file and print sharing.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Mike_J_Potter

    Mike_J_Potter Second Unit

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    You would need to either conifgure the alerts on your firewall, or run a sniffer program and look for people trying to connect. Keep in mind there are programs that will let you capture all wireless traffic from a laptop transparently. A person in the hotel could easily sniff your connection and view all data, so make sure that you are using encryption for logins or better yet use a VPN tunnel if possible.
     
  3. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    I'm an optomistic guy...really I am.

    But where your computer security is concerned you really can't afford the luxury of these notions. Free...pay...secure...open...wireless...wired...an y time you're connected to the public Internet you should always assume someone is trying to get in.

    As far as being tracked or recorded, everything still has to go through a server of some kind, so at minimum each and every web page you visit can be logged. If you're using a hotspot wireless connection like at Starbucks or a free one offered at some office buildings, you can guarantee that there is a lot of logging going on...particularly the free ones. They're opening up their Internet connection to the general public so they have a certain liability to consider as to what is being sent over their network.

    If you're using XP's firewall, you can enable security logging by going into the control panel>Windows Firewall>Advanced>Security Logging settings. Other 3rd party firewall programs, free or not, will always have some kind of logging or alert function.
     

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