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I am taking my laptop with me on a school bus trip, and I want to use an Ad-Hoc network to host a multiplayer Minecraft server. I have heard, however, that Ad-Hoc networks have a vulnerability that makes it possible for people to access your computer's hard drive. While I doubt that anyone else that will be on the bus with me will know how to do this, I want to be certain that I am protected from this.

I am using Windows 8.1 Pro x64, and I have already verified that in the "Network and Sharing Center", all settings for File Sharing over a network are turned off. (I don't plan to use this with the Ad-Hoc network. If I ever need to share a file, it will be through FTP.)

What could I do to ensure that my network is as safe from this, or any other type of attack?

Note: I do not have a password on my Administrator account. Is this is a concern for protecting my drive from being accessed since I have disabled file sharing?

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Ad-Hoc networks are just like regular ones: they are networks hosted by a machine (in this case your computer) that provide some networking functionality. Windows automatically disables wireless methods of file sharing and remote desktop without a password. The only thing bad that could happen (assuming you have a programmer on your trip, which you probably don't) is that your Minecraft server could get overloaded. Make sure you use at least WPA (WPA-2 if your friends' computers support it) so no one else joins it. Just make sure that you don't have a web server installed (if you do, make sure file uploads are disabled, or you might just want to completely turn it off). Just to be sure, I'd recommend using a regular account instead of an administrator account. Also, I regularly poll the Wi-Fi list to ensure no one is making an Evil Twin network (a network with the same name and password that is made to intercept packets). Finally, check the password of your network at howsecureismypassword.net to make sure no one nearby could easily get into your network without spending hours trying to hack into it. If you are going to be sharing files, use SFTP so no one could replace your file with a malicious file. If you have HomeGroup (or whatever it's called) enabled, make sure to disable it.

  • As far as I am aware, I am the programmer on my trip, and I am not so good that I could overload a Minecraft server. What could they possibly do to it? DDoS? Since I am using Windows 8.1 and Microsoft removed the UI from the control panel for making Ad-Hoc networks, I am doing it through cmd which only supports the creation of WPA-2 networks. As for an internet server, I do have IIS installed, but I have not opened a port for it to go through my firewall. I use it only for testing. Should I still be concerned with it? – DavidB Apr 4 '15 at 4:10
  • @DavidB They would do a DoS because normally computers don't have DDos or DoS protection (I doubt that Windows does) and DoS are arguably easier. If you do have something that could be vulnerable on the web server (stuff like file uploads, SQL commands, especially with SQL injections if you haven't protected against that, etc...) I would disable it. – lights0123 Apr 4 '15 at 14:49
  • Thank you for the advice. I will be sure to take heed of it. – DavidB Apr 4 '15 at 19:35

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