2

Me and my brother live in the same apartment and use the same internet connection. (A WiFi router with WPA2 password).

He uses Microsoft Outlook as his primary email tool and I noticed that his POP and SMTP port settings were to use ports 110 and 25 respectively, which means he sends and receives his emails in the clear.

I know that the mail and the credentials are also passed to the servers in both POP and SMTP.

My question is, if someone visited the home and we gave him the WiFi password, and my brother was sending and receiving emails at the same time, is there a one the other person can get his password? (For example by Sniffing via Wireshark)

The settings of the outlook are as below.

enter image description here

  • 1
    POP and SMTP both support SSL upgrade of a plaintext connection, i.e. STLS with POP on port 110 and STARTTLS with SMTP on port 25. This means that the port alone does not say enough about SSL or not and that the connection could still be encrypted (after the SSL upgrade). – Steffen Ullrich Feb 23 '17 at 13:26
  • @SteffenUllrich How can I know ? – tony9099 Feb 23 '17 at 13:27
2

Eavesdropping on WPA2 networks are not that trivial as in WEP or Open networks. Certain conditions need to be met (such as distance to the AP, frame rate and lack of beamforming) to be able to really decrypt the traffic. More information can be found here.

Also, you need to check if your POP and SMTP are sending information in clear text. Most of the email solutions nowadays support SSL, so your credentials most likely would be encrypted. You can check that on your email client configuration.

  • both my brother and the other person will be on the same network. I am not sure if even both of them have used the same wifi password, the traffic would not be encrypted. (unsure how WPA2 works). And regarding the settings on the client (Microsoft Outlook in this case, he is using ports 25 and 110 without any security, no ssl, no tls) – tony9099 Feb 23 '17 at 15:03
  • The traffic would be encrypted but the other person would be able to decrypt the traffic using Wireshark. But keep in mind that even having the WPA2 password, it's not that trivial do decrypt the traffic. Take a look on the link I posted on the answer. – Ricardo Reimao Feb 23 '17 at 15:16
  • I updated my question and included a photo of the current outlook settings. My ultimate question is, with the current givens and settings (without changing or adding anything) is the current mailbox password findable using a sniffer such as wireshark? – tony9099 Feb 24 '17 at 10:48
1

Like Ricardo mentioned, eavesdropping on WPA2 networks is not that trivial, although if someone is visiting and you provide access to the wifi, that's pretty much possible to steal your credentials eavesdropping the network.

Most of the e-mail solutions provide SSL, but they listen on different ports.

What you can do to prevent this?

  1. Create 2 networks: create a guest network, only for people visiting. Worth to mention that this won't prevent people from eavesdropping your credentials while at the airport connected to the public wifi.

  2. Use an encrypted connection. Most of e-mail providers today have it for free.

I hope it helps.

  • Thanks ! I updated my question and included a photo of the current outlook settings. My ultimate question is, with the current givens and settings (without changing or adding anything) is the current mailbox password findable using a sniffer such as wireshark? – tony9099 Feb 24 '17 at 10:48
  • There's no short answer for this, it always depends. Is your network isolated from the rest of the world? Are you going to read your e-mail only when connected to this network? If the answer is yes, I'm sure you're safe. But most of the time, we should be using encryption by default. – abstractj Feb 24 '17 at 12:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.