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Half of computer users are Wi-Fi thieves

Wardriving criminals

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More than half of computer users have illegally stolen Wi-Fi connections, according to The Times - but only 11 alleged offenders have been arrested in the UK, as the police seem to think those deploying Wi-Fi should be more careful about securing their connections.

The data was collected from a "Have Your Say" survey on the website of security-specialist Sophos: apparently 54 per cent of the 560 people who responded admitted nicking bandwidth from insecure Wi-Fi routers.

This might say more about Sophos customers than the general population, and extrapolating the results to every computer user in the country is probably a crime against statistics: so that's exactly what The Times has done.

It reports being told by the Serious Organised Crime Agency that "...there is a certain responsibility that the individual has to assume in the fight against this", and goes on to note that hijacked connections can be used to download pornography and "...if the hacker has used your broadband to log on to an illegal site, this will be traced back to your wireless router. Then it is your job to persuade the police that you are innocent."

And there was us thinking that it was up to the CPS to prove guilt, rather than the other way round.

Anyone caught stealing a Wi-Fi connection can be fined up to a grand, even if it's left unsecured, so make sure you ask nicely next time you're looking to log on, and if the person next to you has never stolen a Wi-Fi connection then we have to assume that you have. ®

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