Hacking by Solis Tech: How to Hack Computers, Basic Security and Penetration Testing (2014)
Chapter 18: Securing Your Network
It is possible for Internet connections to get stolen, but there are many ways to dissuade hackers from getting their hands on your bandwidth. If you think that someone is leeching on your Wi-Fi, it pays to check the users that are connected to your network.
Tell-Tale Signs of Breach
You can almost be certain that an unauthorized user is connected to your network if you experience the following:
1. You are experiencing intermittent Internet connection
If you are sure that you usually have high-speed Internet connection and that you normally do not have problems when streaming or viewing pages, it is very possible that an extra user is logged in to your Wi-Fi.
2. You see changes in your Public folder
If you are the sole user of Internet in your household, or that you are very certain of what the contents of your network’s shared folders are, then there should be no reason for you to see any new or altered files on your Public folders. The best way to check that is to pull down the context menu of any suspected files and see when they were last accessed or modified. If you do not remember accessing them on the displayed date and time, then somebody else is accessing them without your knowledge.
3. Your shared devices are behaving strangely
If your printer and other gadgets that can be accessed through the network are behaving strangely, or there are unknown devices that are suddenly included in your network, then somebody else must be using your network for remote access.
4. Your router’s lights keep on blinking even when you are offline
One of the low-tech ways to see whether there is an unauthorized Wi-Fi user on your network is to disable the connection on all your wireless devices. If your router’s wireless lights are blinking, then there is another user that is making use of your internet connection.
5. You have an unidentified user on your network’s console
You can see all the devices and their corresponding MAC addresses on your network’s admin console. All you need to do is to enter your router’s assigned IP address on your browser, enter your log in credentials, and then check all the attached devices. If there is an unrecognizable device on that list, then you are definitely certain that someone is snooping around on your wireless connection.
Beef Up Your Security and Auditing Measures
If you confirmed your suspicion that there is someone leeching on your Internet connection, the best way to prevent them from getting access is to change your router’s password and SSID immediately. This way, the unauthorized user would be immediately kicked out of your network. To take things further, you may also opt to disable SSID broadcast so that your Internet connection would not be detected as an available network anymore.
However, this solution may be temporary if you are against a sophisticated hacker. Keep in mind that it is possible for some hackers to mask their MAC address through MAC spoofing, which means that their device may not appear on the list of attached devices when you check your router’s GUI.
When this happens, you may want to use more sophisticated tools for auditing connected devices on your network to check for any sleuthing activities. Here are some tools that you can use to make sure that you identify all unauthorized users on your network and prevent them from connecting to your router once and for all:
GlassWire serves as both a security system and a firewall. If you subscribe to the Pro version, you would gain access to the Network view that would enable you to see all the devices connected to your network. You can also get a full report on how your bandwidth is being used, which includes a detailed graph of what running applications are using up bandwidth. It would also alert you whenever there is an application that is trying to apply changes on your computer, or when an installer is trying to add a driver to your system.
What makes it a good security feature to your computer is that it would always alert you when there is a new device that connects to your wireless connection. If you are running a network of computers, this feature would be a most welcome addition to your security protocol.
2. Wireless Network Watcher by Nirsoft
This software is a clean program that works without any nag popup screen or adware, and for those who are trying to save up space, this tool does not even need to be installed. All you need to do is to download the tool and launch it, and then it would start displaying all devices, MAC addresses, and Wi-Fi network hardware of all connected devices. This tool even allows you to identify devices that do not come with a specific device name, like Android devices.
This free wireless auditing tool is among the favorites of law enforcement organizations since it can tell you the location of any wireless hacker based on the information that they send across the network. It is fairly accurate in pinpointing locations up to two meters.
It does not run as an executable Windows file, so you would need to burn this file into a bootable CD. To use this program effectively, you would want to use a wireless card with a directional antenna, and then walk around with your laptop to triangulate and pinpoint the physical location of a wireless hacker.