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Similar problem to dolly doolittle unsecure wireless route

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Similar problem to dolly doolittle unsecure wireless route

I have a similar problem to dollydoolittle and I don't have a clue how to solve it.

I've checked my wireless access on my laptop and found that it was encrypted (with WEP keys etc), but in fiddling around with it, I've somehow disabled my laptop's wireless access totally. And now I don't have wireless access on my laptop, but as I use my modem router for my desktop computer, I'm still on an unsecure router!

The other weird thing is that someone's stealing my signal even when my router is not switched and I haven't been at home. Is that possible?

I'd appreciate any help. In the meantime, I'm hoping that limited use of the router (difficult since my desktop is also connected to the same wireless router) will limit the stealing.

My router is an ORIGO Ethernet.USB ADSL Wireless Modem Router.

Many thanks.
Cal
13 REPLIES
AMB
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Similar problem to dolly doolittle unsecure wireless rou

Quote

The other weird thing is that someone's stealing my signal even when my router is not switched and I haven't been at home. Is that possible?


No - this is not possible. It's the equivalent of saying that someone has been driving your car when you have removed the engine.

I'm curious as to why you think that someone is using your wireless connection - are you looking at the VMBU figures on the PlusNet website and seeing some traffic on days you were not using your PC? If so, this is perfectly normal - the traffic you're seeing is most likely from people portscanning your IP address and attempts to route data to your last known IP address.- just general background noise really.

To secure your router, connect to it via an ordinary ethernet cable, following your manual for setting up an encrypted wireless network (which will be pretty straightforward) and lock your router to only accept connections from your own MAC addresses on your laptop/PC/Xbox/etc.
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Thanks Steve

Thanks Steve.

My WEP encryption was originally in place. I've now reset it and changed my WEP encryption.

How do I go about locking my router to only accept access from my laptop and desktop (I have one of each using the same router), and no other computers?
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To Steve

I didn't answer your query about the possibility of background noise.

My usage history has been showing 2 GB usage over days when I haven't been in town. Also, the usage has been attributed to peer-to-peer and other purposes. I've only downloaded 2 songs this month, and I don't file share.

Also, my usage history from the last 3 months has gone from less than 1 GB to 5GB, with no change in my usage pattern.

It's a mystery, and I'm frustrated, as I can't call Plusnet directly to investigate whether it's an error at their end.
AMB
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: To Steve

Quote

My usage history has been showing 2 GB usage over days when I haven't been in town. Also, the usage has been attributed to peer-to-peer and other purposes. I've only downloaded 2 songs this month, and I don't file share.

Also, my usage history from the last 3 months has gone from less than 1 GB to 5GB, with no change in my usage pattern.

It's a mystery, and I'm frustrated, as I can't call Plusnet directly to investigate whether it's an error at their end.


Ahhh - now that's not background noise... WAY too much to be attributable to the normal bustle of packets running about the net as red tape. Is your PC switched on when you are away and which P2P software are you using? If it's something like Edonkey/Emule, you'll be uploading data even if you're not downloading stuff; if it's Bittorrent, you'll be doing the same but probably to a lesser extent (Emule shares your incoming folder and anything else you've defined - BT only shares stuff you're currently downloading or have left around on the available for upload queue)

When you machine switches on, does it start any P2P software by default? I'm wondering if traffic from your router is waking your machine up (Wake on Lan switched on in the BIOS) and thus you're using bandwidth without your knowledge... and thus starting up the s/w which then spends a few days sharing your music collection with J. Random User in Montanna.

The increase in usage pattern would indicate that something is using bandwidth. does your firewall show you what running tasks are using bandwidth (Outpost does, as does Kerio Personal Firewall; I don't believe that ZoneAlam does, but I've not used it in the last 5 years). If so, let your maching sit idle, with the relevant panel open on screen and see if anything surprising is using your bandwidth... shout up with what you find.

As for locking your router to your mac addresses; this varies from router to router. However, th basic principle is the same - determine the mac address of each device which connects to your router - this mac is 00:14:51:84:8D:1D for example. The easiest way to determine this is often from your router itself. One of the config pages will almost certainly show you all the physically connected devices and their mac addresses. From my router (Voyager 2100)...


ARP Table

Refresh

IP Address Physical Address Interface Type
192.168.1.3 00:00:00:00:00:00 br0 Incomplete
192.168.1.55 00:50:8D:D1:45:8C br0 Dynamic
192.168.1.50 00:14:51:84:8D:1D br0 Dynamic


You can see my PC (192.168.1.55) and its mac address, and you can see this mac (.50) and it's mac address. If my xbox were switched on, along with the
X360 they'd be listed also.

Make a note of these physical address numbers - each one is unique. Now you need to find the config page of your router which controls MAC address control, and fill in the MAC numbers you've identified as being yours! Mine for example, is in Configuration/Wireless/MAC Address Control as I work my way through the options menu on the router itself.

Be warned, if you get this the wrong way round, you'll prevent your devices from connecting to the router and you'll have to perform a factory reset to allow your machines access again (and you'll also have to reconfigure your userid/password/port-forwarding tables, etc all over again).

Hope this helps.
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Thanks again, Steve.

I don't think I'm quite up to locking the router to specific computers just yet.

I'm downloading Kerio to try, which should give me an idea of the type of traffic and activities that go on via my computers when we're using broadband?

Another silly question - do I have also have to firewall my desktop? I'm assuming that stealing my signal only occurs because of the wireless connection on my laptop. My desktop is connected to the modem via a lan link.

I think my main concern is that my usage history is ticking away, even when we're not on the computers and router is not switched on. That baffles me to no end, and is making me paranoid.
AMB
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Thanks again, Steve.

Quote

I'm downloading Kerio to try, which should give me an idea of the type of traffic and activities that go on via my computers when we're using broadband?

Another silly question - do I have also have to firewall my desktop? I'm assuming that stealing my signal only occurs because of the wireless connection on my laptop. My desktop is connected to the modem via a lan link.

I think my main concern is that my usage history is ticking away, even when we're not on the computers and router is not switched on. That baffles me to no end, and is making me paranoid.


Yup - Kerio has a panel which lists all the programs currently active, and gives you an indication of which specific programs are actively using upload or download bandwidth.

I have a software firewall running on all of my machines, in addition to the NAT facility on the router which throws away packets coming into ports I've not specifically opened. The main reason is that I can prevent certain packages from dialling home, and I get a visial signal when something attempts to make a connection either in or out. If something new suddently fires up and wants to connect to some IP address in the Ukraine, I now about it before it gets out of the door, so to speak. I can then do something about it.

If the router is not physically switched on, then there is no way anyone can use it to pretend to be you and use your bandwidth. The only way they could do so is if they physically tapped your phoneline outside your property, plugged in a modem/router and used it that way - unlikely I'd have thought!

By the way, there's nothing wrong with paranoia! Smiley
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Many thanks again, Steve

Many thanks again, Steve.

I haven't had the opportunity to complete firewall installation and tinkering around with it.

But the latest I've heard from Plusnet (finally!) is that there may be problems with their programme that records usage history. Fingers crossed that it's all sorted.

And I'll pursue to secure my laptop/desktop.

Best,
Calyn
flicker
Grafter
Posts: 223
Registered: 31-07-2007

Similar problem to dolly doolittle unsecure wireless route

I've just read this thread with great interest as I saw my name mentioned in the title!

I came back on here to say that I managed to finally sort my problem yesterday, and my wireless connection is now well and truly secure. I called at the place where I bought my modem/router, and they told me it would be £30 an hour to come and sort it, which would include the travel time, so we were talking about £75 plus VAT. :shock: In the end, they agreed that I could phone them, and the technician would go through the settings with me. It took precisely 9 minutes! So I am well pleased.

The reason why I am back though is that I was looking at my usage figures now and I am still surprised to see the figures, so maybe there is a problem with PlusNet. It says I have used quite a lot of the "free" usage, which I thought was after midnight - but I can't remember the last time my pc was on after 12. I am normally in bed by then. The only thing I could think of is maybe PlusNet are still running on GMT, and in fact the free time is starting at 11pm? Can anyone confirm this please, otherwise I am at a loss to understand how I can be using anything when the machine is switched off.

Also another question - does using Yahoo Messenger and transmitting and receiving images through webcams constitute downloading? Because basically thats all I do most evenings, chat and watch wildlife webcams with a bunch of online friends. :?

Thanks.
AMB
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 02-08-2007

Similar problem to dolly doolittle unsecure wireless route

Quote
The only thing I could think of is maybe PlusNet are still running on GMT, and in fact the free time is starting at 11pm? Can anyone confirm this please, otherwise I am at a loss to understand how I can be using anything when the machine is switched off.

Also another question - does using Yahoo Messenger and transmitting and receiving images through webcams constitute downloading? Because basically thats all I do most evenings, chat and watch wildlife webcams with a bunch of online friends. :?



I believe PN are on BST - their clocks changed in line with everyone else.

Webcams and the use of messenger programs will indeed count towards usage figures, both up and down (especially if you're running a webcam on your machine so your friends can see you).

I really do recommend the installation of a firewall with a graphical display of the current bandwidth usage (both up and down) along with the program using the connection - it makes determining that your webcam for example, uses 20K/s of upload bandwidth, and that chatting for an hour uses 500 meg of quota, so running it for 3 hours a night 5 nights a week can make a sizable dent in your usage figures. Please note, these figures are drivel - I've just made them up, but you see my point?
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Dolly Doolittle

Sorry I haven't responded earlier.

Plusnet has acknowledged to me that there may be a problem with their software recording usage history and they've added me to the log of this problem. I submitted confirmation that usage was being 'recorded', even though I was not at home and router switched off. Plusnet is still investigating.

Since that acknowledgement, my usage has 'returned to normal'. I've also changed my WEP encryption and put a firewall in (not that I understand at all what the firewall is trying to tell me - I'll learn).

While I hope it is a Plusnet technical problem, it wasn't pleasant, thinking that my wireless access has been breached.

Dolly, you may wish to complain to Plusnet, especially if you're absolutely certain that usage was recorded when you're absolutely sure you haven't been on the computer or using broadband. I was able to do that as I was out of town.

Best,
ccg
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Dolly Doolittle

Sorry I haven't responded earlier.

Plusnet has acknowledged to me that there may be a problem with their software recording usage history and they've added me to the log of this problem. I submitted confirmation that usage was being 'recorded', even though I was not at home and router switched off. Plusnet is still investigating.

Since that acknowledgement, my usage has 'returned to normal'. I've also changed my WEP encryption and put a firewall in (not that I understand at all what the firewall is trying to tell me - I'll learn).

While I hope it is a Plusnet technical problem, it wasn't pleasant, thinking that my wireless access has been breached.

Dolly, you may wish to complain to Plusnet, especially if you're absolutely certain that usage was recorded when you're absolutely sure you haven't been on the computer or using broadband. I was able to do that as I was out of town.

Best,
ccg
AMB
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Dolly Doolittle

Quote
Since that acknowledgement, my usage has 'returned to normal'. I've also changed my WEP encryption and put a firewall in (not that I understand at all what the firewall is trying to tell me - I'll learn).


If you want a quick blast through various software firewall pages, figures, stats and what it all means, then just shout up - I have a small guide I can point you towards.
flicker
Grafter
Posts: 223
Registered: 31-07-2007

Similar problem to dolly doolittle unsecure wireless route

Thanks timncal. I have done a contact message to the team to report that I am concerned about my usage figures too. It shows that I used 55.77 MB of free usage between midnight last night and 8am this morning. No probs obviously as it hasnt cost me anything, but my pc was off from 11.30 last night, and I didn't switch on till gone 9 am this morning, so a tad worrying to say the least.