0

Would using a wifi dongle to connect my computer to a wifi enabled router make my computer more vulnerable to someone who wanted to gain unauthorized access to it, than connecting to the wifi router with a cable?

  • Depends where the cable goes - some of the security for wired networks comes from difficulty of access. Will be a different answer for a cable running across your desk to a cable running through a shared network cabinet in an apartment block. – Matthew Nov 22 '18 at 15:44
  • Is it a modern/patched wireless router using WPA2-AES with a strong password? If not, it could be easy for someone outside the house to get on the network and potentially attack you. – multithr3at3d Nov 22 '18 at 17:50
  • I haven't seen it mentioned yet, but there's also the Evil Twin attack. – Daisetsu Nov 23 '18 at 4:18
1

The answer of this question depends on your usage of the router.

First I want to mention that it depends how you implemented your wifi connection. If you are using WEP it's like you are using no encryption. Sadly there are so many problems with this standard that you should not use it at all. If you switch to WPA2-AES with a PSK you got better security at all but that's also not unhackable. If you want to increase your routers security I would recommend to disable the WPS function. In many hacks this was the entry point of some hackers but in newer versions security got better at this point. Anyway I would still recommend to deactivate it.

If you are connecting your PC with a cable with the router and disable the WIFI I would really say this is the best solution for your LAN. So you closed one entry point. It's like closing one door.

If you want to leave your WIFI enabled I would say Yes it makes a difference but just if someone got your WPA Key, so he will be possible to decrypt your packets. But if that happens, your PC will not be safe at all. No matter if u are using a cable or a wifi connection.

Hints:

  • Try using a long PSK (WPA Key) for your Router
  • Disable WPS. It's anyway just for comfort
  • Alter your PSK every year or if you think you are compromised
  • Don't save your Key in any Keyservers
  • Alter your standard admin user and password at the router
  • Disable UPNP services
  • Disable web access throught WAN
  • Update your router!
  • Disable SSID broadcasting
  • Use MAC filtering
  • Disable TKIP

Hopefully this information helps you. If you got more questions or want to get more details about it feel free to ask!

  • 1
    Using MAC filtering will not defeat an attacker. Disabling SSID broadcasting can also be trivially defeated to discover the SSID and causes privacy concerns when your devices beacon for your home SSID wherever you go – multithr3at3d Nov 23 '18 at 1:30
  • Everything is true but it's also true that it's not safe at all. You need to make it harder for everyone and if you don't try it, you can leave it open at all. So without this things it's very easy to hack it. – CD Rohling Nov 24 '18 at 19:42
  • 1
    @CDRohling Disabling ESSID broadcast can actually make things worse by requiring that each client broadcast the ESSID instead, causing anyone nearby the device, even e.g. on a plane, to know the ESSID and potentially use that knowledge to precompute a rainbow table or hash table (since the ESSID is used as the salt for some silly reason). Also, I suggest you add "Disable TKIP" to the suggestions. – forest Dec 23 '18 at 3:06
  • @forest Thank your for that Hint. I added to disable TKIP. That's a good idea! And thank you for your idea about the ESSID. Generally I suggest this to block some scriptkiddies from attacking the hotspot because they can't see it on their first try. But it's good to know that point you mentioned. – CD Rohling Dec 23 '18 at 12:54

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.