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Neighborhood WiFi Security 328

picaro writes to tell us the New York Times has an interesting piece about the abundance of open wireless connections available due to the lack of the average user's knowledge. The article also takes a look at how the prevalent attitude is that tapping in to these connections does not equate to stealing and why still other may disagree. From the article: "Piggybacking, the usually unauthorized tapping into someone else's wireless Internet connection, is no longer the exclusive domain of pilfering computer geeks or shady hackers cruising for unguarded networks. Ordinarily upstanding people are tapping in. As they do, new sets of Internet behaviors are creeping into America's popular culture."
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Neighborhood WiFi Security

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  • Wow, I thought it was just women they were swapping, I guess they're doing it with bikes now too? Crazy.
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Monday March 06, 2006 @07:37AM (#14856762) Journal
    Is Ric Romero writing for the NYT now!?

    Can we borrow an 'obvious' tag from our friends at Fark.com?
  • *gasp* (Score:5, Funny)

    by scenestar (828656) on Monday March 06, 2006 @07:38AM (#14856765) Homepage Journal
    As they do, new sets of Internet behaviors are creeping into America's popular culture.

    you mean "SHARING" something?
  • by necro2607 (771790) on Monday March 06, 2006 @07:38AM (#14856766)
    In a semi-related story... I was at a friend's place last week and I wanted to transfer to him some audio-recordings of my band's recent practice. I asked him, "Do you have a wireless network or anything set up here?" ... He said how he didn't want to "get into that wireless stuff" because there are apparently so many people who would hack into his wifi network or whatever. That, and there are people who drive around in vans with gear to hijack peoples' wireless networks.

    During the minute or so that he was going on about this stuff, I found about 3 open wireless networks in range. I connected to one of them, logged into MSN Messenger and laughed as he saw a little notification pop up on his PC screen that indicated that I had just come online.
  • by brxndxn (461473) on Monday March 06, 2006 @07:39AM (#14856769)
    I was sitting at a McDonald's with my laptop during a road trip. There were two wifi networks available. One was titled 'McDonald's' and the other was titled 'BetterThanMcDonald's.' I used the latter. I love when people do that..

  • by babbling (952366) on Monday March 06, 2006 @07:41AM (#14856780)
    Maybe this could work for bank accounts, too.
  • Personally, (Score:3, Funny)

    by hungrygrue (872970) on Monday March 06, 2006 @07:52AM (#14856815) Homepage
    I not only run an open node, but make sure that my neighbors know that it's there. Failing to secure an access point isn't a lack of user knowledge, it is common courtesy.
  • by caffeination (947825) on Monday March 06, 2006 @08:07AM (#14856854)

    Man, if only network traffic was divided up into loads of different types. That way you could block certain types of traffic from passing through your network by configuring your router...

    Not that this would stop http downloads of isos or anything, but most Average Joe heavy bandwidth use is via the likes of bittorrent.

    We could call these types "ports", and there should be at least... pulls random number out of ass... 60000 of them!

  • by Too many errors, bai (815931) on Monday March 06, 2006 @08:46AM (#14856995)
    "People are now able to connect to the Internet through wireless, or "WiFi", networks. More at 11."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 06, 2006 @11:59AM (#14858295)
    I have a similar story as well.

    A friend of mine, and I, went over to the closest Taco Bell during our Master's comprehension exam to grab a spot of lunch and review a bit more before heading back to the university. While we were waiting for our food, he powered up his computer, to read some articles, and connected to the first available wireless network, as Taco Bell provides free WiFi access.

    Instead of Taco Bell's network, it connected to some unprotected one close-by. And we figured 'what the hell?' and started poking around. In less than a minute, we found the person's name, age (16), his address, phone number, homework, the name of the school he was attending, SSN, parents' credit card info, and even his porn stash! He definitely had a thing for Russian chicks.

    The best part of it all was that we checked out his porn while a group of police officers was around 5' away.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.