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Water Tower Exploit Theory


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While working on another project, a database I was developing, essentially mapped out my home routers transmission footprint. What was odd was that there were two specific points, both about a mile away from my home where I received a signal from my router. There is no line of sight from either location, but a large water tower is visible from all three locations. I think it is simply reflecting the signal. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know a coffee shop in L.O.S. of a water tower? ;)

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Either that, or someone likes you and setup a repeater to use your internet...

Joking aside, are you sure someoen wasn;t running Karma, making it look like your router? Could you log onto your home network from these locations, because SSID's can be seen far away, but connectivity is generally not capable without shotgun cantennas.

Edited by digip
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I would say compare the MAC addresses of your router vs the rogue ones.

Good call.

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Was not using a traditional wifi scanner, this one listens but does not transmit. I noticed it only because the Mac address matched my router. Will try to connect from those locations when I get a chance to see whats going on.

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Was not using a traditional wifi scanner, this one listens but does not transmit. I noticed it only because the Mac address matched my router. Will try to connect from those locations when I get a chance to see whats going on.

My thought was, you have a laptop scanning, and your phone tries to beacon out to connect to your WiFi and gives a false positive?

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Reasonable wifi is 150 to 300 feet if no obstruction. Wifi is effected by metal and other things like walls, but its not uncommon for metal to also act as a funnel or even concentrator, if not an antenna, but I doubt its an antenna effect, as much as it is a line of site and reflection issue. I don't see it physically impossible to SEE the access point, just having sustained, reliable access from that distance, would be shoddy it at all sustainable. if you setup the right equipment, antenna, and line of site though, you should be able to connect, but your speeds will be super slow, and unless everything is in order, packet loss will be huge and tcp windows might time out.

I recall Darren "borrowing" the neighbors wifi from a block away, so not impossible, and I think Defcon or Blackhat have competitions, on who can go the farthest while still being able to do file transfers. Albeit, they had high ground, line of site, and home made antenna equipment to do the trick. I think 8 miles was the furthest?

Just to add to that, on some nights, I cna see the Red Roof Inn and McDonalds networks, and they are about a 1/2 a mile from me. I can't connect, but I can see them on some nights, weather permitting and all the right stuff happening, without even trying to get to them. Signals travel pretty far, its the reciprocal connectivity that has issues.

Edited by digip
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