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I want to connect to my college WiFi but I’m worried about the security (data leakage, hacks, MITM). The configuration I used to connect to my college WiFi is as follows:

EAP: PEAP

Phase 2: MSCHAPv2

Identity: [my ID no.]

Anonymous Identity: [ *I left this blank* ]

Is this network secure to connect?

  • Secure in what way? Do you want to be sure your traffic data won't leak? Because MSCHAPv2 is broken, enabling MITM – Natanael Oct 8 '15 at 15:37
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There really isn't enough information here to provide any definite conclusion. However, based on the information you provide, I would assume that the configuration is using PEAP with EAP-MSCHAPv2, which would indicate the MS-CHAPv2 is being tunnelled through a TLS connection and therefore should be reasonably protected against the vulnerabilities in plain MSCHAP.

Whenever you connect to any network, wired or wireless, there is a level of implicit trust - you are trusting that the system has been configured correctly by the admins, that the hardware is secure with up-to-date firmware and that the admins are trusted and know what they are doing. If you are not confident about all of this, my recommendation would be to consider your operating in a hostile environment and to take measures to reduce your exposure. Things you can do include

  • Ensuring you use different passwords wherever possible. Don't use the same password for your wifi connection as other sites/services. If someone is able to get your network credentials, they won't be able to use that information to access other data/services

  • Always use HTTPS rather than HTTP whenever possible. This will ensure that even if someone is able to sniff your network traffic, they only see encrypted data

  • Consider setting up a VPN or SSH tunnel inside your connection. For example, when I sometimes have to use an untrusted public wifi network, after connecting to the network, I establish an ssh tunnel to a trusted server and then forward all my traffic through that tunnel. As this tunnel is encrypted, the amount of information accessible by anyone sniffing the traffic is minimal. A VPN connection will achieve a similar result.

It may be worthwhile contacting your college IT department and asking to speak to someone about security and network configuration. They will probably be able to provide you with guidance on how to ensure your connection is safe etc. This may also help to determine how confident you are regarding the college setup etc.

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