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The Internet

Free Wireless Networks at Airports 295

WallytheWalrus writes "Today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune is carrying an article about the installation of a wireless network throughout Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the first of five such airports across the nation to get a uniform wireless network system. The system, which cost only $250,000 to install, will be free to business travellers passing through the airport (who have the correct hardware), and available through a number of kiosks throughout the airport. One can only hope this is the first step towards bigger and bolder public wireless network projects."
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Free Wireless Networks at Airports

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  • Austin Airport (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ChiefArcher ( 1753 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @03:58PM (#2921446) Homepage Journal
    the Austin airport also HAD a free wireless network.. but because of the .com fallout, they started charging like $6.95 a day or something... It's sometimes worth if you're sitting there waiting for your flight..

    ChiefArcher
    • Re:Austin Airport (Score:3, Informative)

      by b1t r0t ( 216468 )
      but because of the .com fallout, they started charging like $6.95 a day or something

      No, that's because it was a "trial period" by Wayport [wayport.com]. There was at least one other company (MobileStar) providing 802.11b, but they went FC [f---edcompany.com] a few months back. Both of them had a login screen that totally fucked up my browser cache (or something) such that it kept trying to access their stupid login server whenever I tried to go to my home page.

      • There was at least one other company (MobileStar) providing 802.11b, but they went FC [f---edcompany.com] a few months back.

        They got some angel capital from Voicestream and Starbucks, and they seem to be doing alright. I'm a subscriber, and I thought their service would drop off at any day, but it's doing well.
      • ...but they went FC [f---edcompany.com] a few months back. Both of them had a login screen that totally fucked up my browser cache...

        Heh. Why bother filtering the domain bracketing when they can just go ahead and fucking swear anyway? :)
      • they went FC [f---edcompany.com] a few months back. Both of them had a login screen that totally fucked up my browser cache

        If you're going to keep such vulgarities from the virginal eyes of the Slashdot crowd, at least try to be uniform about it. ;)
  • LAN PARTY (Score:5, Funny)

    by underclocked ( 71050 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:00PM (#2921458) Journal
    LAN Party in Terminal 8b!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:07PM (#2921519)
      Just be careful about what you yell in the airport as you frag yer buddies...

      "I'm gonna shoot yer ass off and take your big frazzin' gun!" you yell airport security get deployed on your position in force! ;)

      =tkk
    • Laugh all you want, I partook in a small(and I do mean small) LAN party with regular ethernet at a coffee shop. We all shared a connection via someone's Ricochet modem hooked up. Wires were everywhere. The small corner we overtook looked partially assimilated.
  • by Cryptnotic ( 154382 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:02PM (#2921469) Homepage
    "Use your Airport(tm) at the airport"?

    Mad Apple promotion? Or useful technology?

    Cryptnotic

  • I think they should limit it to web ONLY. In local experiments with free and open wireless networks, it was found that the best practice was to allow web only though a transparent proxy, because when there's no network accountability everybody seems to turn in to a script kiddie.

    My thoughts anyway..

    HEY WAIT A MINUTE, perhaps they'll be doing this and gathering marketing data? Could be easily done, and profitable over a 5 year timespan.

    • Unless the thing supports IPSec, it would be 100% useless for business travelers, who would be the ones using it. So that would be in fact the worst practice possible.

      A transparent firewall blocking non-standard services might be useful, but keep IPSec, POP/SMTP, etc.

      • by sllort ( 442574 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:12PM (#2921558) Homepage Journal
        Unless the thing supports IPSec, it would be 100% useless for business travelers

        Last time I was at the IETF, in Pittsburgh, Marconi was running the show and gave everyone 802.11 cards. I plugged mine into my notebook and fired up my Ethernet sniffer, which collected approximately 700+ webmail username/password pairs, over 100 POP logins, a good littering of telnet logins, a bunch of tunneled CIFS logins, and other assorted good stuff. Enough to crack into a user account at a large portion of the represented telco R&D firms. What I learned at IETF that year: the telecommunications world was still too stupid to be allowed to own wireless ethernet.

        That was the IETF. This is an airport. IPSEC? Nah. It's easier to jail the occasional teenager for "sniffing" than it is to actually fix the problem.
        --
        You're reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org].
        • Ah HAH!

          You've just given me a great idea on how to upgrade from cattle class to business class!
        • Too true. But what's really disturbing is this: you've just admitted to committing a crime. Yes, you did nothing malicious with the information you gathered (at least I'm assuming you didn't), but just the fact of gathering it is "electronic trespass". Absurd? Of course. But our current political culture sells "locking up the criminals" as a solution to everything.

          BTW, what sniffing software do you prefer?

      • everybody else uses Hotmail.
    • because when there's no network accountability everybody seems to turn in to a script kiddie.

      Or a filez 133ch. Let's see... www dot giganews dot com... alt.binaries.anime... extract binaries... :-)

  • In other news, 80% of hotels near airports have been shut down shut down due to lack of interest.
  • Airlines are cheap-ass companies. Next thing you know, when an Airline moves its own computer terminals, they'll say "Hey, we don't have to run any wire, we can just piggy-back on this wireless thing.."

    This being the community of paranioa, need I say more?
  • Baggage Hacking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cruciform ( 42896 )
    This throws back to that other story about how airports are using unsecured wireless networks to check baggage at the sidewalk.
    Who wants to bet they're not going to have the security they need to protect themselves because they go with the lowest contract bid?

    Scenario:
    Felon A puts semtex in a bag, and checks it at the curb, but never gets on the plane. Felon B is inside the airport and reassigns that bag to a passenger who DID get on the plane. Since the passengers and bags now match they won't do a cargo search for the unclaimed baggage.
    Boom.
  • by xercist ( 161422 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:06PM (#2921511) Homepage
    With the ever-growing use of wireless links for IP data, how much more difficult will it become to track down abusers?
    If I sat in an airport with a laptop, I could use the (surely) fat pipe of the building to DoS some poor person, and who would catch me? The user reports to his isp, who gives it to the airport's upstream provider who give it to airport personnel. By that time, I'm way the hell out of there.
    Of course, I'm using "I" in this post hypothetically - I hate DoS and the packet kiddies that do it, but what security is being put in place to prevent it?
    • They've already started. I wouldn't go so far as to say my network has been attacked from airport users, but I've had some "nuisances" doing their deeds from airports before.

      I think the abuse issue is very serious. All you need is a script kiddie field trip to an airport for a bit and you have almost no accountability. How many airports would dispatch security guards with detection equipment to isolate an offender? How fast would that ever happen? Scary.
    • You could be thwarted two ways:

      1. The airport could lower the bandwidth available to individual users or at least monitor severe spikes in bandwidth use caused by one user. Once they see you doing it, it isn't tough to shut you off.

      2. Denial of Service attacks from a single user are history. All reasonable targets have protections against single users. The real damage is done by Distributed Denial of Service attacks where a large number of nodes flood a target.

      Granted, your point was how to catch abusers of the system and not that your attack would necessarily work. This problem plagues all wireless networks. While it may be difficult to track you down to an exact location, you are still in a post 9/11/01 airport. They are on the lookout for strange behavior.

      I don't envy the first 'terrorist' caught packet flooding his least favorite web server.
      • 2. Denial of Service attacks from a single user are history. ...While it may be difficult to track you down to an exact location, you are still in a post 9/11/01 airport. They are on the lookout for strange behavior.

        You're missing the big picture. Said DDoS hacker has his laptop in his bag, with a nice high-gain antenna so he gets more range. It automatically connects to the network, then begins scanning all connected machines for vulnerabilites. If it finds one, it dumps the trojan/DDoS client on it- he doesn't care about launching an attack there and then- the important thing is to hack the laptops. Once they're hacked, the software will automatically call home to the IRC channel to await commands. Of course, it'd be smart for the trojan to wait a few hours before trying to connect so the airport wirless doesn't lock onto the IRC traffic and notify the user.

        Said DDoS hacker stands at the magazine rack for a while. Then heads to the food court. Maybe stare out the window at the planes, things everyone else is doing, while his laptop is busy finding insecurities. After a while, he moves on to the next terminal. How many machines do you think he can hack in a short time? How many could a small group in a short time? A concentrated effort by a large group at major airports across the country?

        Pretty scary if you ask me.

        • How is this different from the same hacker sitting in his basement wearing nothing but stained underwear and doing it from his home box?

          The only argument is that he is more anonymous at the airport but I think he has less of a chance getting caught/in trouble from home. Have you ever tried to go after a person who port scanned you? You can spam abuse@hisisp all you want, they don't do crap. I know because I manage a lab at a college and I've tried to get peoples accounts pulled for trying to break into my systems. If you want the law involved its even worse because you need to prove >$5000 of damage was caused and all that crap.

          With the paranoia around airports now a days I don't even want to bring my laptop with me. The less crap I have on me the less I have to worrry about.

          Or I could just be blowing steam out of my ass... oh well.

          • Sure. But not every script kiddie lives in range of a major wireless hub. AFAIK, most large wireless hubs would be used in corporate areas of town. Yes, they could hack those machines, and maybe hack quite large number of machines. But those machines are generally stationary- to stop a DDoS the ISP simply needs to pull the plug on the building's connection.

            From the airport, he hits laptops heading different directions around the world. A true DDoS. Once the laptop is plugged back in a the owner's office, the hacker also has an opening into that company's network. That's was my point.

            As for security, well, I think it's probably overrated, and they're more concerned with other issues.

            Well, I guess that's enough on this topic, I don't want to give the kiddies too many ideas.

    • I could use the (surely) fat pipe of the building to DoS some poor person, and who would catch me?

      Assuming there's no per-user cap on bandwidth, which is unlikely enough, but ...

      It also assumes there's no one at the airport monitoring abuse of the system, which is very unlikely, especially on a $250,000 network. If they have the network set up right, they could triangulate your position (or at least the offending computer), tell security, and they'd be on your ass in a few minutes. But I'd still like to see someone try it. :)
  • until l33t w4r3z d00d #1853259 fires up his IRC client and starts surfing #isos-R-us. Guess what happens? Joe Email-Checking Buisiness man notices that he's getting .001Kb/sec, and pummels #1853259, until the *other* guys on #isos-R-us come on over from the other side of the airport...

    People are human. Lotsa bandwith+free+no accountability=ISO FRENZY!!! :)
  • Why go all the way to the airport when you can get plenty of wireless coverage [news.com.au] for next to nothing* (here in Sydney at least)

    *conscience not included

  • I have been a huge fan of public access to 802.11 devices connected to the internet. With enough access points at high-density points (airports, malls, coffee shops, etc...), the system could become almost as transparent as the cell-phone system is today, and free at that!

    I heartily encourage everyone with a home network and highspeed internet to purchase an 802.11 access point and place it by a window. Just make sure that you place the access point is on the external side of your firewall.
  • There's two ways they could do this:

    1. They could make it cheap, and ensure that just about anyone at an airport can get minimal 'net access, or

    2. They could make it expensive, and ensure that high-class business-types can get a fat pipe.

    Of course, the OPTIMAL solution would be to do both: Rent a low-bandwidth node for $5.00/hour, or a high-bandwidth node for $0.25/minute.

    If they choose to only provide an expensive connection for corporate use, though, I'm not sure it'll be a step in the right direction.
  • by leifw ( 98495 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:09PM (#2921535)
    See, this is how it works:
    1. Find some little used broom closet in MSP.
    2. Slap your (linux|*bsd) boxen in aforementioned closet with wireless cards.
    3. Note which IP address your boxes pick up through DHCP, or better still have your boxes report their IP address to another of your boxes.
    4. Walk away.
    5. Remotely administer.
  • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:13PM (#2921566) Homepage Journal
    Big mistakes for terrorists:

    Asking airport officials how to log on to your "al-Qaida Online" account over the wireless link.

    Complaining that you can't talk to your "buddy" Osama even though he's on your buddy list.

    Receiving and watching a Quicktime video with instructions for committing a terrorist act -- while sitting in the boarding area.

    Having your laptop announce "You've Got Jihad!" while in the terminal.
  • Looking at the bad side:

    If I were ever trying to launch some virus or whatnot using one of these open networks would be just the place were all they would have to so was probably drive through the drop off section...

    Anyone else see this as a problem?
    • Re:Virus Launch (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Soko ( 17987 )
      No need to bother - it's likely been done already.

      Anyone using Windows 2000 on thier laptop that's unpatched for Code Red will get infected right away. There will undoubtedly be some schmuck - who's laptop is already r00ted - that will be waltzing through the airport broadcasting away that particular snippet of malicious code. Bleah.

      There should be some qualification system before you get on a public network like this, IMHO.

      Soko
      • What kind of qualification system would you propose? Each user has to pass a test? Each machine must be tested by network security personnel?

        No, if this is going to work it can't be a pain. You've got to be able to turn on your laptop and start working, or at a maximum have to just pay a fee for use.

        Could they make payment kiosks where you swipe your credit card and insert your pcmcia card into a slot so it can read the mac address and then allow access based on that? If you did this it seems that there could be at least some level of accountability.

        .
  • by Marsh Jedi ( 244205 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:14PM (#2921573)
    The number of people who leave open shares on their Wintel laptops is ridiculous, as they are used to being behind NAT firewalls and other hard-shelled security, deep in the corporate intranet. Then they move these absolutely defenseless laptops into a completely unsecured network via an Orinoco WaveLAN card--Hilarity ensues.

    A public wireless network with a revolving roster of addled sales execs is a veritable shooting gallery, the proverbial barrel full of fish!

    Anyway, I will not be surprised when suits rush back to the home office after a stopover in Minneapolis, their laptops having mysteriously come down with the clap.
    • Yes, funny. But who the hell says that they have to open up the fscking netbios ports? Or anything other than port 80???? And even better, if they block incoming everything (boo hoo can't run servers in the airport) and block the internal subnet from talking to anyone else on the internal subnet then NOTHING you cite could possibly be a problem. That's like 5 minutes setup with any proper firewall software.

      But I guess they're all too stupid to have thought of anything as simple as that...
      (Frighteningly though, you may be right)
      • Yes, funny. But who the hell says that they have to open up the fscking netbios ports? Or anything other than port 80????

        I think his [valid] point was that airports will suddenly become popular for hackers with wireless cards and laptops. What good is an airport firewall if the hackers are already behind it?
  • This happened in the Louisville, KY Airport back in May 2001... here's the article [bcentral.com].

    Curious that this is happening in some of the smaller airports first. I'd have expected San Francisco's airport to be an early adopter. They certainly spent enough on construction costs to throw in a few wireless routers around without anyone noticing. Still, at least it's getting out there somewhere.
    • However the linked article does not say anything about free access. In fact, it says they aren't "sure what the charge will be for the service". And that it's MobileStar running the network, who are not known as a free wireless provider.
  • (in)Security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maggard ( 5579 ) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:16PM (#2921587) Homepage Journal
    Everyone's first response to this is going to be "What about wireless security?"

    Well, what about it? How different is wireless from an airport different from that shared ethernet in the airport hotel? Or having folks check in from those ubiquitious web terminals in airports that half of the time have cache's full of info?

    Yes, it is possible that sitting there in the terminal your stream will get intercepted. So understand/teach others that these aren't secure, that pluggin in in *any* public pace isn't gonna be secure and certainly not at a client's office etc. Use a tunnel back to the home/corporate proxy server or don't go near any important content and *don't* use any passwords.

    But don't go getting all upset of wireless and airports, it's not really different from all of the others.

    • Yes, this may be no different from the airport hotel network (which I have not seen, however) but which corporate people travel most? Execs, of course - the people with some of the most interesting and valuable data. Of those execs, how many have clue #1 about desktop and/or network security? Very few, I am sure.

      I think it is a corporate IT/security officer's responsibility to ensure that corporate laptops follow these policies:

      good passwords (7 characters or more expiring every 30 days)

      pgp encryption of sensitive data

      have the server service disabled (on NT machines)

      no running NetBIOS unless absolutely necessary, and then only when bound only to the interface needed

      absolutely no web server (personal or otherwise)

      connections to the Internet via VPN connection to corporate LAN, *then* through the corporate proxy.

      802.11 what? no freaking way.

  • by pen ( 7191 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:16PM (#2921593)
    Perhaps this is just a strategy of dealing with the increased delay the FAA is forcing on the airlines?
  • London Heathrow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kruczkowski ( 160872 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:20PM (#2921608) Homepage
    I stoped at London Heathrow a few weeks ago and they have these "XPOD" kiosks or something similar, well they run windows 98 and connect with wireless. I pulled out my NAI Sniffer and found the ip address range 10.10.10.x/24 (if I remeber) then I assosiated myself to the network and found that all the kiosk machines have the 'c' drive shared out - full accsess! and NO PASSWORD. At least the internet connection was a bit more secure, they went threw a proxy server and when I tried to brouse the internet from my laptop all I got was the xpod logo.

    JKF at New York has some small network, but nothing intresting and no internet.

    Frankfurt (Germany) has also some network but also nothing fun, all I see is novell broadcasts.

    If anyone want, I still have the NAI .cap files. kruczkowski @ hotmail.com
  • by ColbyR ( 323052 ) <nomad@noSpam.hcity.net> on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:21PM (#2921612) Homepage
    I have been reading about everyone screaming 'ohh my god! its wireless! its not secure!' or 'the script kiddies are going to go nuts!' You _CAN_ secure this and make sure it is only used by 'good' people (i.e. not the #isosRus user) by simply only allowing IPSec connections out to the world this pretty much elimiates the script kiddie wishing to use 'mad bandwidth' to DoS down someone else and because all the users will be connecting to the rest of the world over a VPN to there office you dont really have to worry about them attacking things from the airport network. Another point of view would be to require users to 'check-in' by setting up a DHCP server that hands out 'dead ips' that can only access one web page. That web page would be a registration page where the fills in the blanks (MAC address, cell phone number, home address, etc..) then a back end script creates a reservation or some other method to privide a 'live' ip for that user to access the outside world. Said airport might also consider (if said airport is not blocking everything but lets say port 80, 443, and IPSec) going with the transparent proxy server that one of the other users talked about. Said airport could also use the customers airline ticket SN# to track the person. You could goto great trouble to attempt to curve the abuse by a few people.. Or you could watch for abuse and disable that MAC address on the network. At any rate. Cheers.
    • You're right. I am sick and tired of people screaming bloody murder anytime 802.11b is mentioned and how insecure it will be (and then they get modded up as insighfull?!?!?)

      802.11b can be made pretty secure, and it's not even that hard. Yes, wireless will never be secure as other methods, but it's not a big gaping whole either (or at least it doesn't have to be).

      So unless you know what you are talking about, /.ers, don't just continue on the same old rag about how it is not secure.

  • If a cracker is attacking a system from an airport terminal, using the free wireless LAN, and a script kiddie releases a new virus from there, how can you trace them thru IP? The only thing you know is that it came from a laptop from that airport terminal, and that's it.

    • actually, you'll be able to trace it all the way to the original "hub".
      Then you pull up all the video from that cavered area at the airport, and the time it happened.
      then you profile the people with laptops.
      then you begin investigating those pepole who fit your profile.
      is it 100%? no, but the people who do this kind of work are damn good.
    • Intel already thought of this a few years back. Just put a unique ID in every processor and mandate it reports itself to every device on the system.

      Back then, people were up in arms about it. Wanna take a guess how easy it would be to do now?

      --
  • by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:33PM (#2921683) Homepage Journal
    Singapore Changi Airport [airport.com.sg] has offered free wireless Internet access for quite some time now. Hong Kong Airport [thestandard.com.au] also offers it, but not free.
  • by Da VinMan ( 7669 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:33PM (#2921684)
    Being a resident of the Twin Cities, and an occasional traveler, I find it somewhat amazing that they're offering wireless at all. Not much to say about that.. it could be nice.

    However, it's going to be somewhat worthless to offer your travelers wireless without also giving them a place to plug in your laptop. Yes, I know laptops have batteries and don't have to be plugged in to be used. However, if you're like me, you hoard your battery's power for the actual flight instead of using it in the terminal. It *IS* possible to plug in at the terminal, but outlets are far and few in between, and you have to work around the rechargeable golf carts (or whatever they call those things) and other laptop users.

    Lastly, with all the other concerns they have at airports these days, I am doubly amazed that they have the time to think about this. Not that I mind, it just makes me wonder.
    • and plug in your laptop.

    • >>>Being a resident of the Twin Cities....

      >>However, it's going to be somewhat worthless to
      >>offer your travelers wireless without also
      >>giving them a place to plug in your laptop.

      Ummmmmm........ you should fly out of your own airport more. Minneapolis/StPaul is actually pretty good at having desks available in the terminal WITH power outlets.

      Sure, it could always be better, but it's about the best airport i've seen in that regard.
      • I evidently do not fly enough as I had not scrounged around enough to find all of this.

        What desks? Argh!

        BTW - I've only ever attempted to use my laptop in the airport while I'm at the gate. I suppose that was my most critical error.
    • Most flights I've been on (American/United) have a standard cigarette-lighter style power adapter in the seats.

      I'm curious if you can setup an 802.11 network in flight or if it will muck with anything they run. I think another thing that would take off well for the planes is having a game/lan server and either cat5 or 802.11. Being able to play Counter Strike/Quake3/Starcraft on the flight would be awesome. I'd pay extra for that capability, assuming you knew other people on the plane could play :)
    • I fly in and out of MSP a lot. On my most recent visit to the airport, they had an area with carrels set up so that you could sit down, plug in your laptop and work. The carrels were even equipped with payphones that had little jacks in the side so you could plug your laptop modem into it and dial into your ISP. It looked new -- at least I hadn't noticed it in previous visits.

      But yeah, electrical outlets are generally few and far between in airports.

      Steve
    • I remember taking a few flights through National Airport, back in the Metricom days. [Richochet, or however they spelled it]. It does sometimes take a little bit of time in finding power outlets, and in making sure you're near them, but if you have a good eye, you'll find them.

      [Simple fact is -- they use 'em for vaccuum cleaners. Some airports have 'em in the floor, with some sort of locking panel over 'em...as we can't carry pocket pliers or pocket knives on us anymore, we can't open those up, but quite a few airports have 'em just as normal circuits along the wall, under some seats.]
  • Weird (Score:5, Informative)

    by sulli ( 195030 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:39PM (#2921721) Journal
    I was going to post a "RTFA" saying that you will have to pay for it, then I went and RTFA'd, and found that this is a very odd setup. 802.11 connecitivity will be free, but the thing will make money. How you ask? Because iPass, the ISP, will be charging for wired and kiosk access (I guess) and "access to corporate networks" (I think this means managed VPNs).

    I think it's fishy as hell. As 802.11 adoption increases, profits go through the floor. Or they charge for IPSec separately from other protocols, and people develop work-arounds. Meanwhile, JoeHaxor is downloading .isos all day and tying up the service.

    Anyone want to bet on how quickly they stop giving away 802.11 free (or ask the airport for a bailout)? Three months?

    • Meanwhile, JoeHaxor is downloading .isos all day and tying up the service.

      C'Mon, how stupid do you take the network admins for? What do you want to bet there is:

      1. A proxy complete with ultra-restrictive firewall (except for special arrangements through business partners).
      2. IP logging and abuse auto-shutdown and/or ban of network card from the service, plus possible triangulation of abusers for security.
      3. Upload and download caps on the service.
      4. Possible blacklisting of sites to discourage people from surfing to porn sites in a public place like an airport.

      Maybe the upload and download caps will be raised on the corportate service, but I don't think there's going to be a way Joe Haxor is going to download an ISO in any amount of time he'd want to spend at an airport - and even then that kind of downloading abuse would get you red-flagged and possibly banned.
  • A-irports O-n L-ine * Featuring a 'wide' selection of Time Warner magazines (with blurry JPEG pictures) * Great in flight Movies (TWAol) * AirCrew with Red Hats * AOL keyword: wingandprayer You have delays!
  • I can see all of the great positives of this new idea, but I'm scared about something: Airports, especially international ones, have their own particular federal laws that aren't always "user friendly." So let's say someone passes through the facial recognition system and their likeness is matched up to that of a suspected terrorist. The whole airport shuts down and all of the sudden federal agents are snagging everyone's laptop that's been on the wireless network to see if they tried to communicate to/about this person. Maybe I'm being too negative or too conspiracy theorist-like, but I just don't think I'd get into the network until I saw how it was treated for a while.
  • SPAM Abuse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:45PM (#2921760) Homepage
    Can't these be abused by mass UCE mailers?
  • I would expect it to use some payment system like in many hotels.. You connect, and it blocks any access until you register. Any WWW site you request is replied to with their registration page.

    And, like most other airport goods and services, it won't be cheap.
  • A suspected terrorist was apprehended today at Franz Kafka International Airport. Security personnel became suspicious when they noticed the image of a bomb on a traveler's computer screen. The computer case also had a picture of an apple on it, which authorities believe may be related to the September 11 attacks in the "Big Apple".

    Film at 11.
  • This is from an American, so it invloves an US perspective and experiences:
    Security: In an airport you are always being watched. Its been this way for years. If you log into the netowork, you can bet they'll find you if they want to. Its a matter of determining when the event took place and which wireless "hub" was the originator, then searching through the video files. They get everybodies picture with a laptop, then profile them. Once they have someone they feel best fits the profile, they will get every recording of you, i everyplace you've been on there property. thids means they know what Bus, car, cab, plane, you got there with. This is just basic security work from that point.

    Terrorist: this in no way makes airplane more vulnerable to attack. Of course the current security measures in know way prevent the events from 9/11 happening again either.(of course if you pull a knife out now, the other passengers will probably kill you. THAT will prevent another 9/11.

    Don't send any data in a public network that you wouldn't post on the front page of a newspaper, ever. If you do, it will be found out. I wish we lived in a world where you could send data and not worry about it, but alas, we do not.

    Finally, If you want to know what life will be like in the US 10 years from now, just look at an airport and expect to have the same level of privacy.
  • great place to put a Carnivore... right at the firewall that (hopefully) protects this thing from the outside world.
  • One day, all you'll need for full Internet access is a handheld computer. It will be equipped with all the "short range" communications technologies, as well as digital wireless connectivity through cellular phone and satellite systems. The device will automatically pick the cheapest (or free) communication protocol to use, with the lowest power requirements, and will automatically switch between protocols when necessary. This will all occur seamlessly. In effect, you'll have connectivity no matter where you are.

    Until then, oh well.

  • Ready to go (Score:2, Interesting)

    by laertes ( 4218 )
    When I was traveling through MSP this December, I fired up my Mac to set up a Airport network with my brother's Mac, peer-to-peer style. I happened to notice the Airport's network ID in the Airport menu, and selected it. Everything worked automatically through DHCP, except, I didn't get a router address. So, not having any packet sniffers, I gave up on that idea.

    Anyway, I'm sorry that last paragraph was so confusing. I guess assigning another meaning to the word Airport wasn't so smart on Apple's part.

  • A lot of people are worried about script kiddies.

    Last I checked, most of these folks were 15 years old. Chances are the only time they will be in an aiport is when they fly back to New Jersey to visit grandma. Mom and Dad won't let them take there expensive laptops with them because they know it will break.

    Chances are the'll be too busy looking at the assult rifles the national guard is carrying and wondering what a death match in the airport would be like.

    --
  • Set up a public terminal that is running EtherPEG [etherpeg.org], and pretty soon people will get the message about untrusted public networks...
  • Ok, so what happened to the country's paranoia about nasty terrorists?

    Now all they have to do is sit at the airport with their trusty wireless laptop and sniff corporate IDs and passwords to their heart's content. At least the company I work for only allows wireless access through a VPN!

    This is just beautiful.

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