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How safe is a power line network?

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ethicalhack3r

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Posts: 139

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:29 am

Post Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:25 pm

How safe is a power line network?

Ive seen an increase in people using them new adapters that turn your power lines in your premises into network cables and enable you to send data over them.

Ive had a look at the specs of one of them and they say that they come with 128bit AES encryption, which from what ive read is 'unbreakable'.

Does any one have any experience with these devices? Are they safe?

I searched google however did not find any relevant info.

Heres the product I was refering to:
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=947922

Thanks in advance for the input.
Last edited by ethicalhack3r on Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chan

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Posts: 32

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:38 am

Post Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:47 pm

Re: How safe is a power line network?

I use several of them at home (Devolo). The main concern I had with them is the signal leaking out on to the local grid or worse it leaking in and reducing my bandwidth! but from what I've read the signal is stopped by your meter so won't go beyond that, and I've never seen any other signals leaking in.

Localy, yes it should all be nicely encrypted as long as you've taken the time to set it up properly (this job took a few mins for me). And all though it would be possible in theory to sniff the power to grab the traffic and maybe decrypt it, if someone can do this they're in your house and you might have bigger issues.

As long as your wiring is good you should get a decent rate. Home Plug AV standard is 200Mb, I routinely get 180Mb, but this is shared with all devices (think of you house as one big hub)

HTH
Chan
CCNA, 100m Swimming cert.
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unicityd

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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:33 pm

Post Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:06 am

Re: How safe is a power line network?

The cryptography behind 128-bit AES is unbreakable so far, but that doesn't mean that every implementation is unbreakable in practice.  Most flaws occur because of the way the cryptography is handled, i.e. keys stored in the clear or generated from a non-random source like the time of day.

That said, if the signal can't go past your meter, then (TEMPEST aside) you're not an less safe than with a traditional wired home network even if the cryptography turns out to be badly implemented (I have no idea if it is or not). 
BS in IT, CISSP, MS in IS Management (in progress)

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