Open WiFi Morals
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Thread: Open WiFi Morals

  1. #1
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    Open WiFi Morals

    OK here is my question. I have just moved into a flat at university and as soon as i turned my compter on i found several open WiFi Hot Spots.

    I have read what Negative said about the the US law and using open WiFi connections but as i am a relatively nice person i would like to help these people out and get them secured more than they are now (the routers still have default user names and passwords). If i can get there IP and machine name am I breaking the law but sending them a message telling them there conenction is open? Is that effectively spamming them?

    Cheers for any advice.
    I have plent of thought and talent. I just don\'t give a damn

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Why not speak to the admin directly about the security methods used and concerns rather than "breaking" the security (e.g., send a note to IT along with a CC to the Dean -- students have done it here at my school with success)? Perhaps put forward suggestions as to how to secure it more so that students and staff can feel somewhat confident that only those who are supposed to be using the wireless are using the wireless access.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  3. #3
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    As the others have said, breaking things more to show how broken they are tends to get you less respect and gets less done about the underlying problem that pointing out how clearly the thing is broken and delineating how it could be further broken and the resultant issues that puts forward.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  4. #4
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    the ones i can get into are not part of the uni but are in the street i live in (major student area) so there arnt any admins just "home" users. I dont even know which house the signals are coming from.

    thanks for the quck reply
    I have plent of thought and talent. I just don\'t give a damn

  5. #5
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Ah.. In that case you might want to suggest something to the university: have a "how to protect yourself online" general user type course that includes wi-fi awareness. It sounds like students have setup wi-fi for themselves within the Residence area(s) and aren't locking them down. It might affect the University, particularly if the University is providing the base internet access (not the wi-fi but the hi-speed).

    This kind of course can be something done during "Frosh" week by the IT dept or by "Frosh" leaders (provided they are trained accordingly). It might also be something that could be put into the handbook that every student gets.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  6. #6
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    OK.... I'm going to get some flack for this but I'm going to say it anyway.....

    Use them, but don't abuse them.

    Some here know my attitudes to user stupidity, (others may not). IMO, there is no excuse for buying technology without having a clue how to use it or secure it. Let's face it, you don't go out and buy a spanking new beamer without a clue as to how to use the locks now do you? Same applies if you ask me when you go out and buy the wireless AP because you are too lazy to run cable or can't be bothered to walk to the next room to play your games. Learn to lock the door.... how hard is that?

    At the same time there is a difference between getting into the beamer and taking a quick nap when no-one is using it and driving off in it for a joyride, hence I say do not abuse it. Don't use their bandwidth to bulk out your pr0n/music collection. Do basic surfing, check your mail, maybe even play Counterstrike, (it's only about 10kbps usage), but be "reasonable". Do no harm and none should come to you.

    One word of warning. Firewall _up_ before you connect and be aware that, in this particular environment, this may be a trap, (honeypot), and everything you do might be being monitored.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  7. #7
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    Let them know. Net send them, leave them a file in a noticable place on their computer. But dont exploit them.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
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    Agreed. I have did the same thing, a simple text file on the desktop seemed to get the poitn across, a link to a website on securing their AP, and the next day no more access. Kind if makes you feel good helping out the helpless. Its like WiFi Charity.
    kr5kernel
    (kr5kernel at hotmail dot com)
    Linux: Making Penguins Cool Since 1994.

  9. #9
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    I have did the same thing, a simple text file on the desktop seemed to get the poitn across, a link to a website on securing their AP, and the next day no more access. Kind if makes you feel good helping out the helpless.
    Yes, until someone complains to their ISP and then you get charged with "trespassing".
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  10. #10
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    As usual Ms. M. is dead right here.... You cross the line when you access any device down the pipe. None of them are there for you to use. OTOH, if the wireless frequency, SSID, the IP address etc. are given freely without "asking" then you are remaining behind that line. You step on the line when you look to see what devices are available....
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

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