- Hiding your home SSID (apparently) violates your public hotspot privacy!
WinXP SP3 WZC clients "configured to connect to non-broadcast networks are constantly disclosing the SSID of those networks, even when those networks are not in range!"
REQUEST: Can/would the intelligentsia on alt.internet.wireless (Jeff Lieberman perhaps?) comment on whether that statement has merit based on what I just read at technet.microsoft.com (quoted above & reference at the end of this post).
BACKGROUND: We all well know that hiding my home-network broadcast SSID does not effectively increase my home-network privacy or security (so we do not need to belabor that concept in this thread).
However, I did not (until now) realize that hiding my home-network SSID might actually REDUCE my public hotspot privacy (i.e., away from home!).
PROBLEM: According to the reference article, the WinXP SP3 WZC client is "periodically disclosing its set of preferred non-broadcast wireless networks".
Therefore, my epiphany goes, the "bad guy" could easily determine my home network SSID from my single visit to a local public hotspot and, with enough determination, correlate my preferred non-broadcast wireless networks to my laptop computer (even if I've changed my MAC address, hostname, username, proxy server, and SSH tunnel, daily).
QUESTION: Is it true that hiding the SSID in one place actually broadcasts it in all others?
That is, by turning of my wireless router SSID broadcast at home, am I, in effect, now broadcasting that SSID at every public hotspot I subsequently visit with my WinXP SP3 laptop computer?
REFERENCE: Why Non-broadcast Networks are not a Security Feature
- I do realize that the realm of "privacy" protection entails a thoughtful multi-layered approach, including proxys, SSH tunneling, TORs, encryption, spoofing, etc.
Therefore, I request the astute advice from the team stay on the specific topic of whether or not hiding the SSID on your home wireless router actually broadcasts that SSID at all hotspots on your WinXP SP3 laptop.