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Lenovo Staff
Serene_Lenovo
Posts: 1,027
Registered: ‎08-02-2011
Location: Singapore
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Accepted Solution

Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

Hi everyone

Was talking about this event with a friend (who owns a cafe). He was very upset as he had been providing free wifi services for his customers... Until he found some students loitering outside his store piggybacking on his wifi network.

He is seriously considering blocking access but is afraid of losing genuine customers. What would you suggest?

Thanks
Bugbatter
Posts: 805
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
Location: USA
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Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

You did not mention how many students this involved. If only a few, and I were a store owner with that problem, I would continue to offer free wi-fi, but I would give customers a password that I would change daily. That way at least one of the students would have to buy something in order to get the daily password. The students probably would get tired of doing that after a while and would look for someplace else to hang out.

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Microsoft MVP - Consumer Security

SpywareHammer

Guru
PeterTWJ
Posts: 1,123
Registered: ‎05-29-2010
Location: Singapore
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Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

Hi Ubergurl

1. Some Wireless Router allows you to have 2 SSID (Wireless Network)

SSID is the name of the Wireless Network you connect to (e.g. WirelessSG)

Example
SSID1: "Main" is your friends network for his own usage. You can secure this connection by configuring it as WPA2-Personal with TKIP or AES Encryption. So no one can access your friends network. 

 

SSID2: "Guest" can be use for his guest which is inside his cafe. It is configurable whether he wants his customer or not to access his data on SSID1. 

2. You can hide the SSID of "Main", so people are not able to see your friends wireless.

3. Reducing the antenna strength / wireless signals helps to prevent or reduce piggybacking. (Which means if they are outside the cafe, the wireless signal would either be low or the network would not be detected)

That's what I learnt from school. Feel free to add on if you have more info. :smileyvery-happy: 

Thanks! :smileyvery-happy:

Cheers :smileyvery-happy:

Peter
(Current: W520 4284-A99) (Refunded: W510 4876-A11)

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Lenovo Staff
Serene_Lenovo
Posts: 1,027
Registered: ‎08-02-2011
Location: Singapore
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Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

@Linda


It's quite bad it seems...

 

The kids would hang around (it's the school holidays locally) and take up space in his small cafe in groups. They order one or two drinks, camp there for eons and refuse to move.

 

I have been to his cafe once and had to sit waaay at the back.

 

-serene

Bugbatter
Posts: 805
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
Location: USA

Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

Has the owner tried a time limit?  I was at one shop that would simply kick us offline after a specific time. It did not bother the "legitimate" customers because we all understood the rules and why they had to be.

 

Perhaps some of the other panelists will offer other suggestions.

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Lenovo Advocate ~ I am not employed by Lenovo or Microsoft. I am a volunteer.

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SpywareHammer

Microsoft MVP
Aiscer
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎11-27-2011
Location: Manila, Philippines

Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

[ Edited ]

I used to have my own cyber-café about 5 years ago. I think it would be better and customers will appreciate it when we’re concerned with their data and privacy when connected through a public Wi-Fi connection.

Things to take note of:

  1. Secure your router’s setup by changing the administration login. It will be useless to use a password for the Wireless connection if someone has access to the router configuration page other than the owner. Some actually leave it on its default settings.
  2.  Many routers today have a WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) button. You may use this instead of handing out the password. This allows “pairing” to occur between the device and the router. The other device connecting should support WPS though.
  3. Change the Client Lease Time in the DHCP Server settings. Based on experience, no one stays longer than 2 hours unless they’re heavy gamers. I changed mine to 90 minutes. This allows the router to check at a set interval if the IP Address handed to the client still exists and releases or puts back the IP Address to the DHCP pool if not in use. Releasing or freeing the IP doesn't disrupt currently connected clients since the router will see if the IP is still in use.
  4. Use a Static DNS setting to improve DNS Caching, Resolution and filter unwanted sites. I used OpenDNS.
  5. Use the current Wi-Fi Encryption standards (WPA2-AES) to secure client to router authentication and resist attacks.
  6. Turn on the Filter settings of the Router's Firewall except for the web filters since they may disallow browsing sites that support Java, ActiveX, and Cookies.
  7.  I also enabled an intranet site as the home page (server based) that had several reminders for safe browsing using IIS. :smileyvery-happy:

I hope that helps.

Microsoft MVP - Consumer Security
goretsky
Posts: 2,062
Topics: 19
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Solutions: 145
Registered: ‎12-01-2007
Location: California, USA
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Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?

Hello,

 

Has your friend looked at setting up their wireless hotspot so that users must agree to Terms of Use before being granted access to the public Internet?  I know that DD-WRT, a popular third-party firmware for routers, has some functionality to do this, although have not used it myself.

 

Just to expand on Bugbatter's suggestion for a daily password, I would suggest two small additions:

 

  1. The daily password should be the name of the daily special, discounted item or other promotion the cafe owner wishes to promote.  Just to given an example of how effective that can be, I was at an annual malware conference a couple of months ago, and they set the WPA2 key for the event to "Dallas2012Sep26-28".  While initially a little annoying to type in, by the end of the conference, everyone knew where and when the next conference would be.
  2. If the cafe owner still wants to limit access to the wireless LAN, consider setting up the point of sale system being used by the cafe to print the daily special (and by special, I mean the WPA2 key) on the receipts from the register.  While that does mean making changes to both the hot spot and the POS on a daily basis, it also helps encourage students to make a purchase.

Another thing to consider for times when the Wi-Fi leeching becomes abusive is how similar businesses have handled this problem.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 



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JDay
Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Piggybacking for stores - aye or nay?


Aiscer wrote:
 Many routers today have a WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) button. You may use this instead of handing out the password. This allows “pairing” to occur between the device and the router. The other device connecting should support WPS though.

 



Cracked! WPS is the new WEP and you should disable it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhzQD59kGIU&feature=player_detailpage#t=363s