Author Topic: New Router Security???  (Read 2046 times)

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Offline mare_wbpa

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New Router Security???
« on: June 23, 2019, 09:16:12 PM »
I had to replace my router. When I originally set up the original I had no clue about security using WiFi. After 3 weeks I got a call from my ISP asking me if I illegally downloaded a movie. I had no idea what they were talking about. The movie that was downloaded wasn't something I would watch. She then asked me if I took measures to secure my WiFi. I had no idea that was even an option. Apparently I had been hijacked. I can't seem to find a way to secure my current router. Asking for help on this issue.

Offline Corrine

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 12:31:44 AM »
Here is a good article on ot to secure your WiFi.  If you have problems with following the instructions, please provide us with the brand and model of your router and the steps you got stuck on.

How to Secure your Wi-Fi Network (or Wireless Internet Connection)


Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.

Offline Digerati

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 03:01:13 PM »
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After 3 weeks I got a call from my ISP asking me if I illegally downloaded a movie.
:o ??? This sounds fishy to me. How do you know it was really from your ISP?

Did they verify your account by providing you your information? Or did they ask you to provide them your account (or worse, credit card or bank :() information? If the latter, you might have been scammed and you probably should contact your ISP (and banks) and have all your account information changed.

As far as securing your wireless router, the most important thing to start with is changing your "password" (needed to access the device's admin menu) and changing your "passphrase" (needed for your wireless devices to access the wifi side of your network) from the defaults.

It is important to understand that for someone to access the wireless side of your network, they have to physically be nearby your house - like the next door neighbor, or a badguy sitting in car in the street (and typically pointing a directional antenna at your house - unlikely as that is something that likely would attract some unwanted attention for them).

If you didn't change your wifi passphrase, then the whizkid next door could easily find the defaults. Or if you changed it to your cat's name, he/she could easily figure that out too, then connect their computer to your wireless network and download the unsavory movie. So clearly, it should be a difficult, hard to guess passphrase.

Clearly, you (everyone) needs to secure your network. But I have never heard of an ISP calling any customer to ask if they downloaded anything, let alone if they "illegally" downloaded a movie. How would an ISP know if you did it legally, or not? They wouldn't, as far as I know - and that's my worry. So again, something about that phone call smells fishy to me, and if you gave the caller any personal information, that should be your more immediate concern.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline techie

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 06:47:27 PM »
By the way Digerati the ISP's do monitor for illegal movie downloads. I had this happen to someone I know, they were notified by email and a warning in there browser from the Internet Service Provider. If a neighbor or whomever downloads it illegally, they don't care if it is detected if it's not there account.

You need to secure your router and make a new phasephrass. Most new routers already have a pin assigned to them and are secure, if so it is located on a label, usually on the bottom of the router. I prefer to use my own passphrase.

I as well prefer to assign my router SSID name. You do need to change the password and user name for login into the router as Digerati said.

Offline techie

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 07:01:09 PM »
P.S.  The installation instructions, should have the IP address for the router, like it says in Corrine's link, type: 192.168.1.1 or it could be another one based on the router. i.e. 192.168.0.1

It instructions should also tell you the default login name and password.

Most routers have a setup you can go through, but do change your login name and password.

Offline winchester73

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 08:21:23 PM »
I'm of two minds here.

It's highly unlikely that the OP has been involved in illegal torrent downloads (given her level of computer expertise and her statement that the movie in question wasn't something she'd want to watch).  If memory serves, ISPs send an email with the DCMA takedown notice, they don't "call" the individual.

I'd like to know more about the ISP telephone contact and the details of the discussion before assuming that it is legitimate.  The whole thing might be a scam or it might be legitimate.  If the former, I wouldn't be comfortable just changing security settings, I'd want to follow up on potential malfeasance, etc.  If the latter, doing the suggestions about locking down the router might be sufficient.
Speak softly, but carry a big Winchester ... Winchester Arms Collectors Association member

Offline techie

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 08:48:53 PM »
What I meant by the same problem, was the router was left open and someone else, a neighbor most likely used the persons internet to download illegal content. I know the person 80 year old christian and they wouldn't even know where to begin to download something like that.

P.S.  I don't even use the routers basic IP, I assign my own. If you want to hack into it, find the IP, then user name, followed by password. Just make it as hard as you can.


Offline Digerati

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 02:05:44 PM »
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By the way Digerati the ISP's do monitor for illegal movie downloads.
I still have doubts about this. I think it more likely the ISP is monitoring how much bandwidth a user is consuming rather than the content of that data. For example, if using BitTorrents, you could be using massive amounts of bandwidth. Plus, data to and from over a https connection is encrypted.

Now anti-piracy firms often monitor the internet as a whole, looking for massive amounts of illegal content moving from specific IP addresses. And in those cases, the big movie companies (or their lawyers) will send notices to the ISPs that this or that IP address is doing illegal sharing. Then the ISP might get involved. My point is, the ISP is not doing the monitoring.

And typically, if the ISP is informed your IP address is being used for illegal file sharing, they, like the IRS, typically send an official letter. They don't call you on the phone.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline mare_wbpa

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 09:33:51 PM »
The router came with a user name and password. When I bring up the available networks on my phone the secure icon  (lock) appears next to the network name. I was just wondering if I had to change the network name and password given to me bt the router Manufacturer. I'm afraid to follow the instructions in the article for fear that I will loose access to my WIFI if I mess up.

Offline plodr

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 12:52:40 PM »
I'm only on my 2nd router since 2004. I change the username and password BUT I never change it from a wireless device. I make sure I'm using a wired connection to do any sort of changes.

If you make a mistake, you can always reset the router to factory conditions. Look on the back for a pin hole that you can put a paperclip or pen tip into. Holding that in for a few seconds should reset the router.

Offline Digerati

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 01:32:21 PM »
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I was just wondering if I had to change the network name and password given to me bt the router Manufacturer.
Absolutely! At least for the password, this is one of the very first things we all must do with any network, phone, or computing device. Default passwords are a matter of public record and anybody can look them up, or download the manual where they likely are printed too.

You don't have to change the network name, but if you live in a crowded network neighborhood (in or near a large apartment complex, for example), some times it is nice to rename it to something you can easily recognize as yours. Don't make it easy for the whizkid next door (like your dog's name or your apartment or house number). Just easy for you.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline techie

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2019, 01:17:30 PM »
My daughter lives in a very crowded area, NYC. I set her router up to not even broadcast the SSID name. I don't know of any new routers that doesn't have the push button connection key. Hold the button for 5 to 10 seconds, the wifi lights will flash for about two minutes. You don't have to see the SSID router name broadcasting to connect to it. Make sure the device your connecting to is waiting at the name and password screen to connect.You can do this with each device you want to connect to the network and it will setup the connection and security you have automatically from the router to the device. The other option if you aren't broadcasting the name is on the bottom of the router or a card that was attached to the router, you will see a SSID default name (unless you changed it), that is the user name and a pin code, that is the password. Just type that in to your computer, cellphone, etc. when trying to connect.

If it's your personal router (not a hotspot) everyone else in the neighborhood using a wireless device doesn't need to know it's there. If it's not broadcasting the SSID name to everyone in the local area neighborhood, then it it doesn't exist to them. We are just talking routers or modem/router combos in general. Since we have no specific information i.e. name of the router and model, it's just generic info.

The push button works if a family member or friend is visiting and you want to give them access to your WIFI.

It does require you to look at the internal settings and change it. You no doubt need to change your password login for the router. Usually if you login the first time it will offer you a setup option of the router. Just follow the prompts.

Like plodr said you can reset the router to factory defaults if you run into a problem.


Offline Digerati

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Re: New Router Security???
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2019, 02:25:49 PM »
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I set her router up to not even broadcast the SSID name
That's fine but it really does not improve security. Wireless means radio waves and any wannabe junior bad guy can still see the wireless network, even if SSID broadcasting is disabled.
Quote
If it's not broadcasting the SSID name to everyone in the local area neighborhood, then it it doesn't exist to them.
Not true! They can still see a network there, they just cannot see the name. Any badguy (or neighbor whizkid) with a simple packet sniffer like XIRRUS WiFi Inspector can easily see what wireless networks are active in the area and its general location. With a simple, home made directional antenna, they can easily pinpoint the exact physical location.

It does NOT take a pro to do this. Remember, it is not your honest neighbors you need to worry about. And a real bad guy sitting out in the street pointing a directional antenna at your house would likely get them some unwanted attention. So it's the mischievous whizkid next door who wants to steal access to your network - either to simply use it for free, or for nefarious deeds using your assigned IP address who you need to be concerned with.

The only way to truly hide your wireless network is to turn it off completely and use only Ethernet.

Also, while most wireless devices today support push button connection, some legitimate devices still need to see the SSID during setup. This requires the user to then log into the admin menu and enable SSID broadcasting again during setup, then disable it again. A PITA, IMO.

So, because it does not improve security, I no longer even suggest disabling SSID broadcasting. I just say to immediately rename it to something that does not readily identify it as belonging to you, or to your home/apartment. And, of course, use the highest security encryption possible - preferably WPA2 + AES, and a strong, hard to guess passphrase.

BTW, if you live in a crowded wifi neighborhood and have connection and/or range problems, it likely is due to other networks on your same channel, or adjacent channel. You can use a packet sniffer to identify unused channels then change to that unused channel in your wifi admin menu. If there are no unused channels, picking one that is used that has the weakest signal strengths is the next best thing. Also, for devices that support it, switching to a 5GHz network can improve performance too. However, the effective range with 5GHz is very limited so it works best for those devices in close proximity (under 30 or so feet is best) to the WAP (wireless access point).
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018