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Using unsecured Wi-Fi for long-term use?

Golden Kiwi

New Member
I just moved into a new apartment and someone in the building has an unsecured connection which I’ve been using with no issues (except slower speed) since I moved in a couple days ago. I’m wondering what risks I would be taking if I was to use this connection instead of just setting up my own connection. The thought of saving $60+/mo is appealing but I’m concerned about security issues in regard to paying bills, bank transfers, stock trades, etc. I do have a secure connection elsewhere which I could use for that sort of thing if it would be a risk using it at home. Should I just bite the bullet and get my own service set up?
 

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broe23

Retired from the grind
VIP Member
Pro User
The first thing you should not be doing on an unsecured Public wifi. Is doing banking type transactions. You need to use either a VPN connection through the Public hotspot. Or just pay for your own secured personal Internet connection.

Too easy for someone to put a packet sniffer on the public hotspot and grab traffic as it goes through it.
 

My Computer

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    A/V UPS - Tripp-Lite Smart 1500LCD 1500 Va/900 W.

rfruth

Member
Member
I think the OP nailed it (unsecured connection)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1
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    HP Envy 700z
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    AMD 4.1 GHz quad-core
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    MSI
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    wired USB
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    IE11 / Chrome
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    Windows Defender aka MSE

popeye

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
There are grade-school hackers who would have no problem capturing your every key stroke. Up to you.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
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    Acer V3 771G-6443
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    i5-3230m
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    Acer VA70_HC (U3E1)
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    8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (800 MHz)
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    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250 GB
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    Comodo
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    Asus RT-AC56R dual-band WRT router (Merlin firmware). Intel 7260.HMWWB.R dual-band ac wireless adapter.

Phone Man

Retired Bell Head
VIP Member
Pro User
The person that owns that Wi-Fi may be trying to sucker people into using it to steal their information. Everyone assumes its an idiot that didn't secure their Wi-Fi, so do you feel lucky.:confused:

Jim
 

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    Windows 7 HP 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64BIT
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Windows 8

New Member
Member
One word: Tor.
 

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    Windows 8.1 Pro x64
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    Intel Core i7 4790k @ 4.6 GHz
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    MSI Z97 U3 Plus
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    8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
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    AMD Radeon R9 285 (2 GB GDDR5), and Intel HD 4600
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    Liqtech 240
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    Razer Lycosa
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    11 Mbps download
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    Mozilla Firefox
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    AVG free (and common sense :P)

CountMike

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
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    Home made
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
    PSU
    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
    Case
    Raidmax
    Cooling
    CCM Nepton 140xl
    Internet Speed
    40/2 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    WD

jimbo45

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
Hi there

"The Count" has nailed it precisely -- it doesn't matter what the complexity of passwords etc is if every key stroke can be captured -- even a secure VPN isn't safe if it's being accessed from an UNSECURED or OPEN Wi-Fi access point since any hacker could replicate your key strokes to get in.

For Banking transactions etc set up a temporary Internet access point with your MOBILE PHONE. While not 100% secure most decent mobile phone providers on 3 / 4G networks have a reasonable level of security built in and data is decently encrypted at most points in the process.

What amazes me that usually just with a simple PIN number you can access a lot of Banking type stuff. A more secure way would be for a random type of question to be put to you before the final login. Any Hacker therefore wouldn't know the question being posed so even if he / she had the plain text of your session they wouldn't know what the random question would be and therefore unlikely to be able to logon. This type of approach though would be very difficult to implement as each user would have to perhaps set up 30 or 40 "random questions" when creating the account in the first place -- and this data also is not 100% safe from "miscreants" either.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
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    1 X LG 40 inch TV
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    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
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    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

CountMike

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Long, long , time ago (here I go again), almost "Once upon a time", I had a Timex-Sinclair ZX81 computer with a program for running production in our company. That program required a password but not an ordinary one. This one took into account how fast and with which time interval letters or numbers are punched in. Someone could hack password but there was no easy way to find and replicate timing. Surprised nobody is using that gimmick any more.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
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    Home made
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    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
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    16GB Kingston 3600
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    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
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    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
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    WD 1 TB Blue
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    Bunch of backup HDDs.
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    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
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    CCM Nepton 140xl
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    40/2 Mbps
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    WD

jimbo45

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
Hi there.

I've seen the same thing on some VPN's -- you get a key "randomizer" and when you login you simply type the value displayed on the randomizer -- this connects you to the normal login screen of the VPN.

Now apart from some stuff it doesn't really matter if a hacker gets your keystroke since they won't be able to login to the VPN in the first place. Of course don't give away passwords or other stuff that the hacker could access by logging in to a different application though !!!.

perhaps this type of technology could be built into routers and ISP's so you wouldn't need to have large numbers of these key fobs.

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

LMiller7

Active Member
Pro User
Get your own Internet connection. Be aware that in most locales accessing a network without the permission of the owner is illegal. That is precisely what you are doing. The fact that the connection is unsecured does not grant permission. Many people have set up unsecured networks for the express purpose of monitoring those who access it and use the information for their own gain.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 7
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    PC/Desktop

sml156

Member
Member
As LMiller7 said it may be illegal I live in Canada and found this on Wikipedia

Legality of piggybacking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[h=2]Australia[edit][/h]Under Australian Law, "unauthorized access, modification or impairment" of data held in a computer system is a federal offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995.[SUP][2][/SUP] The act refers specifically to data as opposed to network resources (connection).
[h=2]Canada[edit][/h]In Canadian law, unauthorized access is addressed by Section 342.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. According to Section 342.1, "Every one who, fraudulently and without colour of right" obtains "computer services" from an access point is subject to criminal charges. (See Criminal Code of Canada, RSC 1985, c. C-46, s. 342.1 (1) (a))
Section 326 may also be used to address unauthorized access of a computer network. '(1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently, maliciously, or without colour of right', '(b) uses any telecommunication facility or obtains any telecommunication service.'
In Toronto in 2003, a man was arrested with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop in his car, partially undressed. He was tapping into unprotected wireless networks to download child pornography. Ultimately, however, he was charged not for piggybacking, but for the pornography instead.
In Morrisburg, Ontario in 2006, a man was arrested under section 326 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Ultimately the arrest was poorly reported, there does not seem to be any information available with regards to conviction.
[h=2]United Kingdom[/h]The Computer Misuse Act 1990, section 1 reads:
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—
(a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer;(b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and(c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that is the case.​
In London, 2005, Gregory Straszkiewicz was the first person to be convicted of a related crime, "dishonestly obtaining an electronics communication service" (under s.125Communications Act 2003). Local residents complained that he was repeatedly trying to gain access to residential networks with a laptop from a car. There was no evidence that he had any other criminal intent. He was fined £500 and given a 12-month conditional discharge.
In early 2006, two other individuals were arrested and received an official caution for "dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services with intent to avoid payment."
[h=2]United States[/h]There are federal and state laws (in all 50 states) addressing the issue of unauthorized access to wireless networks.[SUP][1][/SUP] The laws vary widely between states. Some criminalize the mere unauthorized access of a network, while others require monetary damages for intentional breaching of security features. The majority of state laws do not specify what is meant by "unauthorized access". Regardless, enforcement is minimal in most states even where it is illegal, and detection is difficult in many cases.
Some portable devices, such as the Apple iPad and iPod touch, allow casual use of open Wi-Fi networks as a basic feature, and often identify the presence of specific access points within the vicinity for user geolocation.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + 8.1 pro and 7 Utimate
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3 2.53GHz

popeye

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
People want something for nothing these days. Just a 150 years ago stealing a horse could get you hung. Oh, the good old days. :p
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer V3 771G-6443
    CPU
    i5-3230m
    Motherboard
    Acer VA70_HC (U3E1)
    Memory
    8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (800 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    HD4000 + GeForce GT 730M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" Generic PnP Display on Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 pixels
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250 GB
    ADATA SSD SP900 128GB
    PSU
    90 watt brick
    Mouse
    Bluetooth
    Antivirus
    Comodo
    Other Info
    Asus RT-AC56R dual-band WRT router (Merlin firmware). Intel 7260.HMWWB.R dual-band ac wireless adapter.

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
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Get your own Internet connection. Be aware that in most locales accessing a network without the permission of the owner is illegal. That is precisely what you are doing. The fact that the connection is unsecured does not grant permission. Many people have set up unsecured networks for the express purpose of monitoring those who access it and use the information for their own gain.
Exactly.

This kind of thinking and actions never stop amazing me. "I thought I'd save some money and steal what I need from my neighbor, instead of paying for it. Am I safe?"

A real showcase of stupidity at its best.

Kari
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
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    Laptop
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    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
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    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
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    6 GB
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    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
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    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
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    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
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    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
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    50 MB VDSL
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    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

CountMike

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
People want something for nothing these days. Just a 150 years ago stealing a horse could get you hung. Oh, the good old days. :p
Nowadays it's a virtual horse. how to virtually hang somebody ? A "Hangman game" ?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home made
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
    PSU
    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
    Case
    Raidmax
    Cooling
    CCM Nepton 140xl
    Internet Speed
    40/2 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    WD

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