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Wireless network security

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Wireless network security

I am running a desktop and an IBM laptop through a WAP-ADSL modem/router at home, often left on standby. Both machines have WinXP O/S.

During summer I noticed a month-to-month increase in weekly bandwidth usage, little of it had anything to do with me. In October I was away for 8 days and during that period about 220 MB of traffic was recorded. I'm running daily a Norton AV software, Spybot Search & Destroy Resident, Spyware Blaster and since last month, MS AntiSpyware (Beta). My Windows firewalls are up on all Internet links but SfieldsUp test yesterday revealed ports 21, 23 and 80 open. First 4 days of this week registered 205 MB of traffic already!

Can anybody suggest what seems to be going on?

Although I live in a secluded private residential development (WAP range is safe), today I decided to change the name of my network, secure it with 64-bit encryption, close the offending ports 21, 23 and 80 and set up a dead-alley DMZ giving me "STEALTH" status on all ports. No "pings" are sent or responded to. I'm close to my monthly limit of 1.0 GB but the test will reveal if bandwidth is still being poached.

Could there be some unauthorised traffic at the PlusNet server end?

Regards,
Mike Rajkovic
2 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 12-04-2007

Wireless network security

port 80 is http traffic
port 23 is telnet
port 21 is ftp

You say you have windows firewalls up. Well the thing is, that won't stop or report to you about programs, spyware, viri, etc on your pc accsessing the net! (I'm not suggesting that you have spyware or viri, it's just a possability) In other words without an outbound firewall or some means of monitering outbound packets, you could fall foul of something on your own pc calling out to the net and using bandwidth. Obviously in the case of spyware/viri etc, this is not too good at all!
The other thing is that you can expect some usage, (background noise) from pings coming to your router from the net. This is to be expected, however you could maybe check your routers logs to see if there is anything overly excessive in this department.

My suggestion is that your first step is to go for a soft firewall that allows you to control both inbound and outbound traffic! (Don't use both though. Dissable the windows firewall once you have setup a third party one).

I fall into the hobyist group here rather than geek, so hopefully you will get some more techy help from the resident boffins here! Wink

Best wishes and welcome here!
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Wireless network security

Thanks,

I've now set up basic ZoneAlarm firewall and switched off the Windows one. Shall look at the logs later but it just may be that MSN Messanger is a potential culprit. Looking at packets sent & received, my router is sending a lot more than receiving.

Mike Rajkovic