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 Post subject: network security
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:18 am 
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OK, I'm no network guru like Steve but can stumble through. I'm having a conversation with an out of state friend about security aspects. Even though it is a hassle he refuses to use anything wireless as he thinks that wireless is more easily hacked. I don't agree but could easily be wrong.

In my thought it does not matter whether a connection is wired or wireless as to an internet connection in relation to the potential of an infection. In my opinion is that in either case it all boils down to the system security. Am I wrong?

He is also interested in the theory of a system for disabled people for home automation. This would be a closed system not using the internet for communication between devices. Yes, I know, they are already out there but due to his belief of wireless being more easily hacked he wants everything wired. To me it still comes down to whether the system is secure and is not a factor of wired or wireless. Again, am I wrong?

In my thought such a system would be no different than any other as to security. It would boil down to the security on the driving system and how the router is setup. I don't know about all routers but mine can be set to only allow access to designated devices. If a device tries to connect that is not on the router's white list it is automatically blocked.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. ;)

<edit>
As an add-on about my router, and I'm sure many others, it has a guest mode that works like a connection in a fast food place. It allows access after entering a password that works fine but is totally isolated from anything else connected to the router. It is sort of like an isolated sandboxed connection in that it works but is not really there in relation to any other connected device.

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 Post subject: Re: network security
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:12 am 
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Anything wireless can be hacked by someone with the skills, tools, and desire to do so. The same for anything connected to the Internet. The security you set up will make it much harder, but it is still hackable.
From an infection standpoint, wired vs. wireless isn't an issue. Infections come from within -- meaning you clicked a link, installed software, or visited an infected site (or opened a file) that loaded something on your PC that exploits an unprotected vulnerability. And once the infection has taken hold, it can utilize any connection you have to the Internet to bring down more malware or open the gates for inbound activity.
As for a fully wired home automation system, as long as it is completely isolated from any network that has Internet access, it would be the most secure setup. However, if any connected device has an available connection point from external -- wired or wireless, even if not configured -- the entire setup can be compromised.
Unless you're dealing with national security data, I see no reason to worry about the potential for your network being hacked as long as you have enabled wireless encryption (WAP2). A step further for wireless security would be to enable MAC address limitations on your router, meaning that only MAC addresses that you enter into a table in the router are allowed to connect. Again, still hackable, but there's no pay-off for the bad actor.

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 Post subject: Re: network security
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:33 am 
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Thanks Steve. :) I think, but am not totally sure, that you have endorsed my thoughts.

As to your statement of "enable MAC address limitations" would that possibly equate to my router's "white list" of devices allowed to connect?

It must be considered that I have a pretty advanced router that I paid little by getting re-certified. Retail it was close to $300.00 but I paid ~$20.00. It will report to me (on my request) any device that attempts to connect not allowing any actual connection unless I have previously allowed or a guest access password is entered. This is only a restriction for wireless. A wired connection is automatic just by plugging in which a hacker isn't likely to be abler to do. ;)

Yes, I fully understand that an infection is different than a hacker attack and an infection is going to happen through the user being dumb or a lack of proper security.

I guess my actual question is if going wireless is more weak as to an attack by a hacker whether connected to the net or not. For myself I can't really see it unless it was someone you know that is going to sit outside of your house to be in range of the wireless. While my friend is very intelligent I think, in this case, he is being overly paranoid.

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 Post subject: Re: network security
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:47 am 
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jaylach wrote:
Thanks Steve. :) I think, but am not totally sure, that you have endorsed my thoughts.


Yes, I have endorsed your thoughts. :-)

jaylach wrote:
As to your statement of "enable MAC address limitations" would that possibly equate to my router's "white list" of devices allowed to connect?


Yes, having a White List of allowed MAC addresses in your router is what I meant and that prevents wireless connections from unknown devices.

jaylach wrote:
I guess my actual question is if going wireless is more weak as to an attack by a hacker whether connected to the net or not. For myself I can't really see it unless it was someone you know that is going to sit outside of your house to be in range of the wireless. While my friend is very intelligent I think, in this case, he is being overly paranoid.


A wireless network that is isolated from the Internet, meaning it isn't connected to a router that provides Internet access, is potentially more vulnerable than if the devices are wired to each other with no wireless access. The key word is "potentially." It is still not easy to hack, but it can be done if there is incentive to do so and the hacker has the knowledge and tools to accomplish it. The risk is absolutely miniscule, though.

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 Post subject: Re: network security
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:04 pm 
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Thanks again Steve. :)

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