Nasty KRACK

This week’s networking crisis is that black-hats have found another way to violate your privacy. Called the KRACK exploit, it allows hackers to spoof WiFi protocol so as to break its encryption and read your traffic.

It’s worth pointing out that this is not just a zero-day bug in some manufacturer’s implementation—it’s a defect in the WiFi standard itself, and all WiFi (802.11) encryption is vulnerable to it. It does require a hacker to be close enough to have physical access to your radio signal.

We wanted to let you know what we were doing about it, and also what you should be doing about it yourself. Continue reading

Red light means go!

A number of our subscribers for whom we have installed wall-mounted MikroTik mAP access points have called us, concerned that they might have a network problem because a red light was showing on their unit.

The light in question is normal. It indicates that the WiFi unit is supplying power to the roof-mounted radio unit over its ethernet cable (hence the label “PoE out,” “power over ethernet”).  This particular model of access point is the only MikroTIk device we supply to subscribers that offers the PoE pass-through feature, which allows us to power both your WiFi access point and your roof unit with only a single power supply.

In general, different MikroTik units can come equipped with red, blue, green, orange, or yellow LEDs. In some of the higher-end models, the same LEDs can show different colors under different circumstances… but on none of them (to our knowledge) does the color of the LED itself ever indicate an error condition. In all circumstances, MikroTik uses the color red or orange to indicate only that the unit is supplying power to some other unit.

So rest easy—this red light means only that all of your systems are go!

Ready… get reset… stop!

Hillary's "reset" button

Click image for the story of this “reset” button…

Take it from a world-famous politician: a “reset button” doesn’t always do what you thought it would, or meant it to. Sometimes it creates problems instead of solving them.

The WiFi units Grand Avenue Broadband offers to subscribers all feature reset buttons.

Please don’t press them!

Units we deliver to you have your customized network name, passwords, frequencies, and addressing configured into them, so that they work on your account and don’t interfere with the signal from your home tower. Reset buttons reset equipment to factory defaults, which include none of those things.

Fortunately, the reset buttons on our units are disabled at most times. However, if you do manage to reset your WiFi unit, its configuration will need to be re-established. Often, we will be able to do this from our central site; at times, it may require a housecall.  Either way, there will be a peregruzka—a “surcharge”—for the service.