Oz cops turn to wardriving to fight Wi-Fi 'jackers
Police in the Australian state of Queensland are to go on the hunt for unsecured wireless networks.
Claiming that "the crooks are out there driving around trying to identify these [open] networks", Queensland Police Detective Superintendent Brian Hay told local site ITnews that the Boys in Blue will now do the same.
Folk found to be in possession of an un-WEPed WLAN will be warned of the dangers they face, as will wireless router owners who enabled security but retained the default password.
"Look, lads, there's another 'Belkin54g'..."
Some might argue that Queensland's cops have better things to do than war-drive around the state's 'burbs. But Hay compares the scheme to any other crime prevention activity, from warning home owners to secure their property and telling car owners not to leave their vehicles unlocked when unattended. ®
Also forgot to add...
being cautioned, having your DNA taken and the mission afterwards to have it removed from the DNA database.
Risks and analogies.
If you leave your router unsecured and I happen to join the network while your computer is on there is the risk I can gain access to your files. I can also exceed your bandwidth useage if you happen to be capped, leading to extra charges from your ISP. I could access your router setup page, change the settings and deny you access to your own internet (unless you are smart and know how to reset it to default, which is unlikely if you don't even know how to setup security). I could even flash a new firmware to the router including some unsavoury functions of my own.
Most of the analogies being bandied about here require little technical knowledge. Its not obvious to the average user how to setup their router, so if you steal their bandwidth you are taking advantage of their ignorance. Even if its not illegal (I think it is though) its morally dubious, and anyone with half a brain would know that.
I can't believe you guys are up in arms about this
Bottom line is, if I i want to do something bad, I am not going to do it from my own machine. if i can get on to an open wifi network (and it takes less time and skill to drive 5 meters down the road to the next house than it does to crack a wep key).
So if you leave you network open, 'because you want people to use it' you had better have a good excuse when somoene uploads a ton of kiddie porn from your ip address.
In court the bill payer is responsible!
So good on Brian Hay and his team for thinking out of the box.