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'[OT]:Wireless Net security'
2002\03\08@181906 by Jinx

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What will they think of next

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1860000/1860241.stm

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2002\03\08@190800 by michael brown

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> What will they think of next
>
> news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1860000/1860241.stm
Hello jinx,

I was reading about these last week, sounds like some of the "Pringles"
antennas outperformed "professional" antennas.  It also sounded like making
these is a hit-and-miss proposition, some work real well, some don't.  Not
hard to believe, given the variation in spacing, materials and other
factors.  But with say a "good" network analyzer, you might be able to tweak
one of these to perform exceedingly well.  Not that there having poor
performance now.  ;-)

Really though, this is a very serious security issue.  Wireless networks
everywhere are unprotected.

Sidebar on network security (wired or wireless)

I use a tool (in a good way) called NetBrute that scans subnets and exposes
basic security weaknesses.  It worries me that I could easily (if I so
desired) destroy the data on dozens of computers anywhere in the world
within an hours time.  I've often wondered if I should stick a note on their
desktop to warn them, but then that would make my activity cross the line of
legality.  It's legal to scan a network (especially with a customers
consent), but it's illegal to store or modify something on a computer (even
with good intentions).  Not surprisingly, many of these computers are
practically "eaten up" by various viruses.  I could easily drop a program
like VNC (or the SUB-7 trojan if you really want to have some fun) to be
installed on any one of these computers (upon the next reboot) and then take
it for a real test drive.  :-(

michael brown

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2002\03\08@193631 by Jinx

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> Really though, this is a very serious security issue.  Wireless
> networks everywhere are unprotected

And the BBC helpfully provides a constructor's link

I got a very big surprise a few weeks ago when investigating
a finance project. It seems local banks - no small outfits - are
still using DES. No, not triple-DES. 6-year-old DES that you
could hack into with a Gameboy (slight exaggeration), and
they know it

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2002\03\08@210737 by Barry Gershenfeld

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> It worries me that I could easily (if I so
>desired) destroy the data on dozens of computers anywhere in the world
>within an hours time.
...
>  I could easily drop a program
>like VNC (or the SUB-7 trojan if you really want to have some fun) to be
>installed on any one of these computers (upon the next reboot) and then take
>it for a real test drive.  :-(
>
>michael brown
>

A guy I know went next door to his business to warn the guys over
there that he could hear everything they were doing.  They laughed
him out of there.  Were rude, even.

I predict it is only a (small) matter of time before somebody with
fewer scruples does do a job on some well-known establishment, followed
by big media coverage, followed by a mad scramble to "fix" the "hole"
that was suddenly discovered "overnight"

Barry

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2002\03\08@225126 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 9 Mar 2002, Jinx wrote:

> > Really though, this is a very serious security issue.  Wireless
> > networks everywhere are unprotected
>
> And the BBC helpfully provides a constructor's link

It ain't rocket science, after all...  any ham could figure it out, it's
really a very basic gain antenna.  Directions for this and many many more
can be found almost anywhere, scalable to almost any frequency range of
interest.

Dale

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2002\03\09@104852 by M. Adam Davis

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Someone tested the pringles can antenna (informally) against several
other antennas (some professional, some home made) and found that the
pringles can was no better than a lucent omnidirectional antenna.  They
had a few other 'can' antennas and found one that outperformed the
pringles can significantly.  Apparantly whoever put the pringles can
instructions on the net didn't understand antenna design thoroughly.
Probably a lot better than I do, though... ;-)

-Adam

Dale Botkin wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\03\10@144055 by Peter L. Peres

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>Someone tested the pringles can antenna (informally) against several
>other antennas (some professional, some home made) and found that the
>pringles can was no better than a lucent omnidirectional antenna.  They
>had a few other 'can' antennas and found one that outperformed the
>pringles can significantly.  Apparantly whoever put the pringles can
>instructions on the net didn't understand antenna design thoroughly.
> Probably a lot better than I do, though... ;-)

I'm no big antenna expert but I know that an antenna can only be as
efficient as its effective 'aperture'. That is directly related to the
dimensions of the antenna. So small antennas have poor gain and big
antennas have big gain. Therefore if you lose the pringles box and put a
simple dipole and reflector in the focal of a dish it will be MUCH better
than any pringles box even if the parabola is not so perfect. A aluminized
umbrella (photo supply) makes a great dish. I am sure that hams can
elaborate on this. I know someone who built a backfire antenna (like dish
but for UHF) from a large wok (chinese cooking pan). Works great at
1.2GHz (23cm).

The only advantage the pringles box may have, is the fact that it combines
a tuned filter with an open horn antenna, and this could improve reception
if the noise floor is high.

Peter

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2002\03\10@150245 by kent

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Another little trick from a fluid mechanics guy...

If you rotate at tub of fluid,  the surface of the fluid will be parabolic.
If the fluid is plaster or concrete, you will have a nice disc to your
specs. Or the matrix for one.
Cover the surface with something like aluminum foil or chicken net.
It is surprisingly tolerant to inaccuracies.
A really good one can be made with fine metal netting embedded in
fibreglass cast into the matrix.

Kent

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2002\03\11@082521 by Roman Black

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Only because this topic is on the [OT]: list,
but this ALL sounds like a lot of work. I often
wonder what would happen to the mobile phone
industry if everyone could suddenly communicate
telepathically. Or even just a few well-chosen
English words (Chinese symbols?) instead of
paragraphs of type...
:o)
-Roman

Kent Johansen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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