View Full Version : Free internet access
09-23-2007, 06:03 PM
Ok heres a question for all you computer geeks.
I have my laptop computer here in the room and it shows a wireless network.
When I click on it's properties it shows as a SSID free internet acces. The signal strength is good. I would like to know how to tell who this is and maybe I could get access to this network. I have dial up here and if I log in I can go the the fridge and get a coke before the page loads.
I did try to access it and it took my computer over and locked me out and had a message that the administor had to release it.
I did get it unlocked after a reboot.
09-23-2007, 06:33 PM
Without knowing what you're neighborhood is like it could be a neighbor. If they don't use any security encryption on their wireless router you should be able to connect to it and surf away. If they have encryption active you won't be able to connect to it. Some cities have companies that provide a citywide pay wireless network and when you try to connect to those they usually route you to a web page to sign up.
09-23-2007, 06:58 PM
Ok I tried to log on with the Wireless Network Connection and no luck. I did run a utility and found this much.
AP's mac address
I did have to do a system restore to get my settings back the way they were.
AS for my location I am 5 mile from the nearest city that would have a wireless network. I am at about the highest elevation here for 20 mile. The nearest neighbor is about 1,000 ft and they have satilite web acess.
09-23-2007, 08:15 PM
Mike, you've likely fallen for a scam here. Don't connect to that network again, or any other like it. It is most likely someone in your area (probably within 400ft of your home) who is fishing for guys looking for free internet access.
He's set himself up to look like a wireless access point, and when you connect to him all your network traffic flows through his machine and is subject to his monitoring and perusal. He's likely looking for passwords and such, and will try to hijack your machine to do the same thing he is. The best part is he most likely isn't aware of any of this himself -- he's probably just another guy who clicked on the "Free Wifi Internet" access point, just like you did.
You probably have some cleaning up to do now -- you're machine may well have been infected with any number of trojans/viruses. And you might also now be advertising an SSID of "Free Wifi Internet Access" to your unwitting neighbors.
An easy way to identify these bogus networks is by their type -- they'll always be listed as Ad-Hoc or Peer-to-Peer networks, rather than true infrastructure access points. Never connect to a Peer-to-Peer network and you'll be fine.
Read more about it here : http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9008399
09-23-2007, 09:13 PM
Ok, Call me cheap or as I prefer, Frugal. For years as I travel for my work I have found that most people with wireless internet connections in their homes or businesses don’t use password protection. On my work travel most is remote camping without internet access but have found with a short drive through a neighborhood or hotel parking lot it is like a miracle, I can now receive my emails and daily view of the Forum. I have found that apartment houses near Universities have the fastest connections and Hilton Hotels will give you their access code with a quick phone call, (usually HILTON). I wasn’t aware of hijackers using this to get at my information but in 5 years I haven’t seen a problem except I feel kind strange sitting in my truck in front of someone’s house or a parking lot to get my email. I have become more brazen that if I find a good signal at a nice hotel I just take my laptop to the lobby and use their nice soft couch and laptop stand for my internet duties. Tonight I am in the Hilton with a fine couch, sipping on a nice cup of free coffee with biscotti with a hint of mint and chocolate. (They offered it to me, I could not refuse or they might have caught on.) I will go back to my sleeper truck tonight with a warm place in my heart for Hilton, who knows where tomorrow will take me. I do have a Verizon card which works great in metro areas and is slower than the worst dial-up in rural areas so when I see a better connection available I do use it. To be honest, I actually seek it out when my reception is poor and thankfully have not run into the banditos who want my information. One last good thing, If they ever made it to my bank account they would be in trouble cause they would owe more money than they had access to.
09-25-2007, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the reply.
I dont think it is anyone out here tying to bait someone in . I know everyone around me. My computer locks onto the stray signal. My computor show no bits of data has been exchanged and I run a anti-virus program.
Will just ask aroud the neighborhood as to who has a wireless network in their home.
09-25-2007, 02:43 PM
Mike, you can be quite certain it is what I said.
The give-away here is that the MAC address of the access point you connected to is not valid. The IEEE allocates specific MAC address ranges for hardware vendors to assign to the network cards they make. Given a valid MAC address, you can always look up the manufacturer. The MAC address from the access point you listed in a previous post is not in an allocated address block. See for yourself, go here (http://www.coffer.com/mac_find/) and plug in the MAC address from your post (02:7E:A1:53:CE:B5).
If you read the article I linked to in my previous post, you'd see that the malware responsible for the fake access point scam uses random and invalid MAC addresses. The only explanations for this are malware, or perhaps he changed it himself (highly unlikely).
Like I said earlier, the owner of the computer responsible for this is most likely just an unwitting victim himself. If you do find the guy, do him a favour and let him know he needs to do an antivirus/antispyware sweep of his own computer as well.
09-25-2007, 04:06 PM
I just updated my out of date antivirus and firewall. It cleaned up my system but did not find anything.
Always have a firewall and antivirus at least you can be surf safe. Do not rely on your isp for protection.
I think Norton has a new all in one program for dummies like me called 360 .
09-26-2007, 03:26 PM
I will talk to my neighbor and let her know what I have found out. Not only did I find this strong wireless network but also have found a weaker printer network.
I will block my laptop from logging onto these on start up.
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