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Turning Network Free-Riders' Lives Upside Down 658

An anonymous reader writes "You discover that your neighbours are using your unsecured wireless network without your permission. Do you secure it? Or do you do something more fun? A few minutes with squid and iptables could greatly improve your neighbours' Web experience ..." Improve is a relative term, but this is certainly gentler than certain other approaches.
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Turning Network Free-Riders' Lives Upside Down

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  • Liability? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lecithin ( 745575 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:04PM (#15792203)
    What are the odds that a neighbor would use your network and then sue you for the content that your are sending to him?
  • Re:Goats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Roody Blashes ( 975889 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:06PM (#15792223) Homepage Journal
    If you don't secure a wireless connection that spills onto other people's property, why shouldn't they use it until told otherwise? You could argue that you're not really encroaching, but I guarantee you that's not true. There's another network near us that was too weak to always show in the list of nearby nets, but was just strong enough to cause intermittent signal pollution until one day I happened to move the router to get at something else, and noticed it next time I connected.

    If you let your signal spill over onto other people's space, too bad.

    In fact, I wouldn't be mad if someone were using my connection without my approval unless they were encroaching on my space to do it. In fact, I only secured it because of bandwidth concerns and the potential for other people to use it for illicit purposes.
  • Should be legal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:07PM (#15792231) Homepage Journal
    In our topsy-turvy legal system, it might not be. :( But it should be. The nieghbors have no right to expect anything so they should have to just accept whatever the router sends them. As allegedly was said by Truman Capote:

    The trouble with living outside the law is, you put yourself beyond its protection.
  • by truedfx ( 802492 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:09PM (#15792249)
    You discover that your neighbours are using your unsecured wireless network without your permission.

    If your wireless network is unsecured, permission to use it is implied, and there are operating systems that will automatically use such networks, are there not?

  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:10PM (#15792260) Homepage Journal
    When my neighbour mooched my wireless I had a little fun with Cain & Abel [www.oxid.it]. I got some good recipes from their private documents. Romano cheese really is better than parmesan on spaghetti!

    You can have a lot of phun with this all-in-one cracker suite. Hell, if my neighbours had a MS-SQL server or Cisco switch I could have 0wned those too!
  • Secure? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:11PM (#15792283)
    He already uses the notion of trusted and untrusted networks, yet he makes no effort at all to prevent 1) spoofing 2) non-IP protocols 3) access from the untrusted network to his trusted network.

    If you plan to take on others, make sure your own stuff is secure.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:16PM (#15792337)
    From a technology standpoint, an unsecure wireless that broadcasts an SSID is an open invitation. Your wireless AP is basically sitting there, shouting to the world "Hey, here I am! Anyone want a connection?"

    Does this translate to implied permission in a court of law? Beats me.
  • by Manitcor ( 218753 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:17PM (#15792347) Homepage
    Even if it is implied there is no implied level of service, if you decide to degrade the connection or alter the data passing through your personal equipment then thats up to you.
  • Open Networks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:26PM (#15792422)
    sorry, I am a supporter of open networks. I think the freifunk olsr-protocol approach of open wireless networks [freifunk.net] is best. We don't need internet providers and we don't need internet provider which leak our communication data to the governments and endanger the freedom of the net. The net should be a net and wireless technology is great for the creation of a real P2P internet.

    I cannot support any action against people who use your network. It is against my understanding of hacker ethics. When you don't like it then close your network. But no childish games please.

    I may even say that I find it unethical to exclude your neighbours from using your network but I respect your opinions. When your network is open it means: Be free to use it. Not: You can use it but I will fuck up or intercept your communication.
  • Re:Should be legal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:33PM (#15792487)
    Well, yes. That's what the word "outlaw" originally meant. It was a sentence, as punishment for a crime the law formally expelled you from its oversight. The hangers on could stone you as you left the proceedings and this act would be invisible to the law.

    This is not at all the same thing as being a criminal, because a criminal still acts under the jurisdiction of the law.

    In our topsy-turvy legal system we do not have outlaws, merely criminals. You may live counter to the law, but you cannot live outside it. The law is omnipresent.

    Smile for the camera.

  • Re:Liability? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tddoog ( 900095 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:43PM (#15792608)
    What are the odds that a neighbor would use your network and then sue you for the content that your are sending to him?

    Yeah, ailurophobia is a bitch.

    What does ailurophobia have to do with it?

    Definition of Ailurophobia

    Ailurophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of cats which produces an undue anxiety reaction even though sufferers realize their fear is irrational. Sufferers of ailurophobia may fear not only the scratch or bite of a cat, but also the "evil mystique" of cats as depicted in Halloween folklore and such literary works as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Black Cat."

    From the Greek "ailouros" (cat) and "phobos" (fear). Alternate spellings: "Aelurophobia," "elurophobia." The Greek word "ailourous" has also given us the English word "Ailuroidea," a zoological term for a group of carnivorous animals including cats, hyenas and civets.

    An alternate name for fear of cats: "Galeophobia."

  • Sniff, sniff. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:48PM (#15792671)
    i'm far from expert on the subject, but if you are on the same subnet , sniffing should be trivial.

    Sniffing has nothing to do with subnetting. It has very much to do with the hardware that connects you. If you're both connected to the same hub, you can see all of each other's traffic. If you're both connected to the same switch, you can't.

    Note that as a Slashdot comment, this an extremely simplified explanation and not a complete picture.
  • Re:Goats (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jett ( 135113 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:53PM (#15792737)
    Same here - I've run an open AP for a few years now. I've never had anyone abuse it to the point that I have noticed. If that ever happens I will take the time to config it so they can't leech too much bandwidth but I really dont care what they do with it - I've got plenty of bandwidth for my purposes so why not share? My former neighbor used to use it fairly regularly, particularly after a truck crashed through his house and took out his connection (along with every computer he had, minus his laptop).
  • Re:Goats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jasen666 ( 88727 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:59PM (#15792804)
    That's exactly what I've setup at my wife's salon, where she has an open wireless for her customers. The office computers have full internet access, any wireless guests have their ports limited to the basics. The cheapy D-link router had this capability built-in, making it a no brainer.
  • Re:Goats (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jett ( 135113 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:27PM (#15793076)
    Except I'm not doing any content filtering and have no awareness of what data is going over the network - you can't hold me liable for the actions of someone else. If a murder happens in a park the owner of the park isn't liable for it, it's an open space that anyone can use.
  • Re:Goats (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:57PM (#15793385)
    Say what? Why do you have to bring kiddy porn into this? It's enough to say that you don't want leeches. And how is this insightful? Mods must be smoking crack again.
  • Re:Goats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by osssmkatz ( 734824 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:09PM (#15793495) Journal
    You would let a guest use port 25? One word: spam. Not a good idea. especially with zombies.
  • Re:Should be legal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by raventh1 ( 581261 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:19PM (#15793594)
    If you think the law protects you, you're sorely mistaken.

    I see your quote and raise you: "People should not fear their government, their government should fear the people." V for Vendetta.
  • Re:Goats (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @04:09PM (#15794114) Homepage Journal

    Here's the proper analogy:

    I put my garden hose in the street and leave it running 24/7. Is it stealing if you walk up and fill up a jug with water?

    I asked a lawyer this once, and he said yes, but he's a jerk so I take it with a grain of salt.

    Besides, the law is whatever the **AA buys.

  • Re:Goats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @04:12PM (#15794140)
    It's a shame that I have to protect my router somehow, especially because one of my devices (a Nintendo DS) doesn't support WPA at all.

    I've got the same problem with my DS, but I've just setup MAC address filtering and not publicly broadcast the SSID. The DS plays just fine and the average person in my neighborhood isn't smart enough to know that there is a wireless network at all and I'd doubt they'd be smart enough to sniff the packets and modify their wifi to match my list addresses.

    Sure half of Slashdot would be able to beat my security in 5 minutes, but when I want to keep my Joe sixpack neighbors from using my network its enough.

    Secondly, this minimal amount of security does say "Hey! This wifi network is offlimits! There is no chance of accidental unauthorized use so if you use this without my permission by sniffing MAC address from the packets then it does violate intrusion laws."

    So with security with obscurity, I get the local freeloaders off my network and I can play my DS Wifi.
  • Re:HuH? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:00PM (#15794610)
    And, as other people have posted in other threads, a computer cannot, in any legal sense, give consent. The concept is simply stupid. If you want another watered-down analogy, that's like saying that if I walk up to your door, turn the knob, and push, your door is giving me consent to do whatever I want in your house. I mean, those hinges just let the door swing right open. I'll bet you even have a doormat that says "Welcome." Assuming that I see that after I push your door open, that's an even more clear invitation than if your DCHP server had given me an IP address! You should've locked it if you didn't want me to take your TV!
  • Bandwidth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jetson ( 176002 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:55PM (#15794999) Homepage
    I don't mind if people want to check their e-mail on my WAP. I do mind when they idle on file sharing services, using lots of bandwidth and exposing me to potential legal liability.

    The bandwidth part is easy to handle, assuming you've got a Linux box between the WAP and the gateway. Amonth the various iptables modules are ones that do rate-limit matching and per-IP queueing. You could easily give each poacher access to the internet without restricting the available ports but at a rate that resembles a 4800 baud modem. That way they would have enough bandwidth to download email and surf essential web sites but not enough to get you into trouble with warez traders.

  • by ksheff ( 2406 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:33PM (#15795220) Homepage
    have the script rotate each image a different amount (ex $angle = (15 * $count) % 360; )
  • Re:Goats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by trewornan ( 608722 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:02PM (#15795898)
    Well how come Starbucks are providing free access if they can be held liable for kiddie porn or it's illegal to connect?
  • Re:Goats (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29, 2006 @04:04PM (#15807137)
    I can tell you don't live near the sea. Believe me, pigeons are cute little bunnies compared to herring gulls. Gulls are the vermin of the skies, give me pigeons any day.

    I live about a 10min walk from the ocean. My gulls might be different to your gulls, but I'll take gulls any day over those flying rats of the sky. Seagulls are noisy and annoying when I'm at the beach (not far from famous Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia), but at night time they at least fuck off and sleep near the cliffs or on the sand.

    The flying rats of the sky on the other hand, decide that at 4am they want to snuggle up to each other at my bedroom window and coo-coo-coo all bloody night.

    If I...

    a) Lived in the country and
    b) had a 12 gauge pump

    I'd be using a lot of bird-shot and feeding them to my cat.

    Hate them. They are an introduced species, they shit everywhere, roost above ceilings bringing added fire danger and lice/mites, aggressively chase away native species (I see this happen every day) and they're noisy in the wrong locations at the worst times. In Sydney, pidgeons, Indian Mynahs (murderous little bastards) and sparrows should be eliminated if at all possible.

    Especially the Indian Mynah, they are an extreme threat to our native birds. For some reason, in Sydney the common sparrow has seemed (to me at least) to have diminished in numbers dramatically. I can't remember the last time I saw a sparrow, when 25 years ago they could be seen and heard every day. Maybe the Indian Mynah killed them off.

"It ain't over until it's over." -- Casey Stengel