I'm Under Attack! What to Do If You Discover a Wireless Network Snoop
So you've discovered that someone is accessing your wireless network. Don't panic! Chances are the snoop is just a harmless bandwidth bandit. However, you need to decide what to do about this and other snoops .
Turn Off Wireless Access
The simplest way to stop someone from accessing your wireless router immediately is to turn wireless off.
That might be impractical in the long term ; however, if you find someone on your wireless network and you want to instantly protect yourself, this is the quickest way to do so.
In your router configuration there is a setting to turn wireless access off. I'm going to show you how to do this on a D-Link router; however, the settings on your router are similar:
Figure 6.21. To turn off wireless access to your router, look for an on/off switch in your router's control panel.
Of course, if someone in your home has a wireless laptop, this can cause a problem because he won't be able to wirelessly access the Internet anymore.
Activate Security Measures
With your wireless settings turned off, you have denied access to the snoop. The next step is to engage one of the security measures I talked about earlier in the chapter. Choose WEP, WPA, or employ MAC address filtering. Then turn wireless back on.
Assess the Damage
Look at your router log to see if the snoop has been on your network before. This is not an absolutely reliable way of determining if a particular snoop is a threat, but it might give you some evidence to see if she is a regular visitor to your network.
There is no way to tell for sure if the snoop is a bandwidth bandit, wardriver, or wireless hacker. If in doubt, you might want to change any passwords or sensitive accounts you might keep stored on your computer. The only way to be sure that nothing has been left behind by the hacker is to scrub your hard drive and start fresh. See p. 310 to learn how to do this.
However, not every snoop is out to steal your identity or wrong you in some malicious way. How you proceed is up to you.
If you feel that your personal data has been compromised, go change your passwords, alert your bank, and keep an eye on your bank accounts. You might also want to change account numbers , account passwords, and identity documents the snooper might have accessed.
It's important to also do a scan of your computer with your antivirus program and anti-spyware programs to ensure your system is clean of any threats.