August 20th, 2004, 07:12 AM
Insecure WiFi, public or not.
Wireless network usage has dramatically increased in the last couple of years. New APís are showing up on a daily basis and the vast majority of them are unsecured. I have found that most of them even do the work for you by having DHCP enabled and no filtering what so ever.
I am yet to see a solid stance on where the line is drawn on for using these AP's for net access. It is the nature of the way the networks utilize radio signals that make this shifty ground so to speak. IMHO I feel that these open networks are public for a couple of simple reasons.
Most AP's are broadcasting the network information on a wide radius. Announcing to the world "HEY, thereís a network here". With a subtle hint "it's unsecured"
Radio signals extend past the owners property usually, in some cases even into the houses of others. If itís an open channel that extends into someone elseís house should be considered public, otherwise it would have to be considered be trespassing.
These networks are subject for immoral usage. They are an open portal porn and warez file sharing. They are giving hackers an almost 100% anonymous gateway, should something illegal happen through that connection I'm pretty sure the owner would be held responsible. They are also subject to degrading network quality due to network interference, caused by both conflicts with nearly neighboring networks (most are still on the default channel 6) and network chatter caused by a poor link from a war driver on the edge of the network.
So whose fault is it ultimately for someone to utilize a seemingly public connection?
Would it be that of the person that is taking advantage of it? Personally I hope thatís not the case. I would think that would fall on the administrator of the wireless network for not securing it. I feel that they should educate themselves about the technology they are using. For those that the equipment installed by their ISP's. While I wouldn't consider it entirely the techs fault for leaving the network's open. I would like to think that they would have more of a responsibility for educating their customer before leaving. And finally does fault with the equipment coming insecure from the manufacturer by default. If routers came with a unique login and WEP key by default. Included in the instructions for setting it up, people would be forced to learn at least some of the security info that would protect them, but even at the least by default the router would be somewhat secure.
I would appreciate to see any info on this subject concerning legalitys or just personal views or comments etcÖ
August 20th, 2004, 07:33 AM
spamdies, the best and most complete answer to your question could have been solved with a quick search of 'AO' tutorials. (yes I am getting on you a bit, but nicely I hope)
Negative wrote a very comprehesive guide to WIFI and the law here: Wi-Fi and (US) Law
He has also made several other posts that cover US and even some European laws concerning wardriving and puplic access to open AP's. But I'll let you search them out yourself.
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