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Thread: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

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    Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Thought about posting in the Networking board, but I believe this is a much more security-oriented thread.
    So let's say I bring my computer to a public place, say a library with one open, public, shared wireless network. I connect to that network. Let's assume that everyone else who's connected is using Windows. Can they see my computer (through Network Manager or other software) and attack it (SYN flood or something)? Or does it depend on the network settings?
    Thank you very much.
    I support SOPA and I dare say it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    You will need samba(windows file sharing service) installed to be seen normally, and even then there is probably an option to disable visibility.

    If you happen to be running any services, or have ping respond on (default), port scanners can find your computer. To fix that, setup a firewall rule to ignore inbound connections from any host you don't want to connect, and disable ping reply. This is probably not worth the effort(see the next line).

    You can be found with packet sniffers and the like if you connect at all, but nothing can be done about that.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3602 View Post
    Can they see my computer (through Network Manager or other software) and attack it (SYN flood or something)? Or does it depend on the network settings?
    Thank you very much.
    Of course they can see and attack you. You can be seen and attacked any time you connect to a network and "the internet".

    I suggest you relax though as this is not windows and you are likely to be invulnerable to most things.

    On untrusted networks, such a a public wireless access point, I activate my firewall and tunnel traffic over ssl (https) or ssh as the biggest threat, IMO, unique to such a network, is a packet sniffer (thus the encryption).
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Howdy,

    On WiFi, everyone can sniff your packets, but if they are encrypted with WPA, then they won't know what the packets contain.

    Anyhow, if you run Ubuntu, then you need not fear the average Windows Joe. It is the non-average fellow Linux user that you need to fear.

    Remember, you are *not* paranoid, if they really *are* after you...

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by bodhi.zazen View Post
    On untrusted networks, such a a public wireless access point, I activate my firewall and tunnel traffic over ssl (https) or ssh as the biggest threat, IMO, unique to such a network, is a packet sniffer (thus the encryption).
    What is this, UFW?
    I support SOPA and I dare say it.

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3602 View Post
    What is this, UFW?
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UFW
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by bodhi.zazen View Post
    See, I read that actually (from your post in the Firestarter thread) and I don't understand a thing. So I install this and my ports will be open while they're closed by default?
    I support SOPA and I dare say it.

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3602 View Post
    See, I read that actually (from your post in the Firestarter thread) and I don't understand a thing. So I install this and my ports will be open while they're closed by default?
    Sounds as if you do not understand the basics of firewalls and ports.

    Servers listen on ports, and if a server is installed and listening for a connection the port is open.

    By default, Ubuntu has no significant listening servers, so all ports are closed, and there is nothing to firewall.

    If you install Apache, it will listen, and thus open port 80.

    You can then firewall port 80 or limit connections with a firewall.

    If you do not want to do any reading, as I have said, open a terminal and enter

    Code:
    sudo ufw enable
    That will enable your firewall, although it is almost certainly overkill.

    If you want to read, start with the security sticky.

    Then read:

    http://bodhizazen.net/Tutorials/iptables

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZeroConfPolicySpec

    If you have a specific question, ask, but you are asking very basic and broad questions with that last post.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    I read the security sticky, three times actually, and that's why I'm interested in all this. In Windows I didn't even have a firewall, because the router has stuff built-in and I never bring that computer outside. Now I installed Firestarter, removed Firestarter (through Central, I clicked Remove). Do I need to "purge" Firestarter using your command? The goal of all this is that I don't want other users on the same network (say a library) to see me. Now I understand packet sniffers (setting-up the router makes you read things, hidden SSID and such), then if by default all ports are closed, would installing additional software (UFW) encrypt my connection, as you have said. Does UFW do this? If so, how to configure it to do so? If not, what other software can?
    I support SOPA and I dare say it.

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    Re: Can Windows users see you if you're using the same connection?

    You need to use the command line, re-install, and then purge firestarter.

    If you simply remove firestarter, it leaves configuration files which conflict with ufw, thus the need to purge.

    This is an old firestarter bug and as firestarter is no longer maintained will not likely be fixed any time soon.

    A firewall is for managing network traffic in and out of your computer and enabling your firewall does not make you invisible. Due to the nature of "the internet" there is no such thing as being invisible. As long as you are connected to the wireless access point you are visible.

    Encrypting your traffic is another issue. Normally one does this by configuring the wireless access point to use encryption (WEP and WPA). This traffic can still be sniffed and decrypted.

    You can do two things

    1. Connect to a server using ssl (https). For example,

    https://help.ubuntu.com/

    Notice the "https" in the url ? Notice the little yellow lock icon in firefox ? This traffic is encrypted.

    2. Since not all servers user https by default (most do not) you can tunnel your traffic over ssh (which encrypts the traffic).

    See :

    https://calomel.org/firefox_ssh_proxy.html

    This of course requires you have installed and secured a ssh server somewhere, lol.

    3. You can tunnel other communications over ssh, or you can install VPN.

    4. You can use any of a number of proxy servers, including TOR.

    I think a better question is why you think any of this is necessary for security ? Do you think someone at the library is going to specifically target you ?
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

    #ubuntuforums web interface

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