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Router Security Problem


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#1
cnbh_sj

cnbh_sj

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Hi,
I've the Netgear wireless router FM114P and I've a question about its wireless access feature. A while back I configured the router so that only trusted PCs can access the network. Yesterday I just finished assembling a new PC and I was able to connect to the Internet wirelessly even though I hadn't entered its MAC address into the router. I then checked the attached devices to the router and found that there were some unknown PCs being conneted to the network. Can someone please explain to me how this is possible? I'm really concerned about this problem because I had some important files that reside in a shared folder. I'm afraid that some unauthorized people may have had access to them. Please respond ASAP. Thanks.
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#2
Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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MAC address security can be bypassed by basically spoofing it from another computer.

It sounds like you set it up to allow MAC addresses but either didn't save the configuration and/or didn't reboot the router once done.

It could well be a power cycle/surge or stuck button that's caused the router to reset itself back to factory default, which is often wireless enabled with no security.

All the other PCs can do is use the internet connection; unless you have the same workgroup on all the systems its not immediately obvious to most users how to get a list of the other computers on the network. But I do have to ask the question; why is important stuff being in a shared folder in the first place if this is the only PC?

Best thing to do is set some wireless security up on the router, if nothing else.
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#3
cnbh_sj

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Hi Neil,
Thanks so much for your fast reply and Happy New Year to you. I'm a novice at networking so please bear with me. I do have some questions regarding your reply.
1) How can MAC address security be bypassed by basically spoofing it from another computer?
2) I believe that I did save the configuration. After noticing unknown PCs being connected to the network, I checked the wireless access setting of my router and it was set at "allow access by trusted PCs only", not all.
3) I have 3 PCs in my family and they all belong to the same workgroup. In Windows, the default name for the workgroup is WORKGROUP. Unfortunately, I didn't bother to change the name to something else. So, I guess it was pretty easy for the unknown PCs to see the content of the shared folder.
4)You raised a very good question "Why is important stuff being in a shared folder in the first place if this is the only PC?" Like I mentioned in question 3, I do have more than one PC. Still, I think that you've a very good point. I shouldn't have any important files in a shared folder just in case some unauthorized persons can somehow get into the network. I think that you can never be too careful.
5) Can you elaborate on what you mean by "Best thing to do is set some wireless security up on the router, if nothing else. " Can you give me some pointers on wireless security?
Thanks again for your help and I look forward to hearing from you.
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