Stealing Wi-Fi

By Derek Sooman on November 22, 2004, 4:00 PM
"The best method to find some free wireless is to treat your laptop like a cell phone. Since Wi-Fi and cell phone signals travel on a similar radio frequency, the same tricks you use for getting a better phone connection might work on your computer. Sit near a window, since Wi-Fi signals travel better through glass than through solid walls."

The next time you are happily using your home wireless network, just remember how insecure it can be. According to Paul Boutin's "How To Steal Wi-Fi", there are no federal or state laws that make it illegal to log on to an open network. He recommends that you "lose the guilt" - that borrowing someone's connection is nothing like hacking into their bank account. He has suggestions for common passwords to try, and advice in making sure that you are allocated an IP address. However, he does warn that the neighbours may not be thrilled that you're sharing the line. All this, of course, begs the question how long it will be before legislation catches up to the technology and makes this kind of thing illegal for good.




User Comments: 4

Got something to say? Post a comment
Phantasm66 said:
This is really scarey stuff! And its true!Last night, I set my laptop up near my window. I live in a city area, my flat is just right at the end of a street, and I am on the top floor. My wireless network adapter instantly detected a linksys wireless router nearby, and I was assigned an IP address.I could surf the net, download files, even start up bittorrents, etc. I am not kidding!
Per Hansson said:
I don't understand why that article gets so much publicity, I read it yesterday but it really has no details in itYou wanna do some real work? Download Knoppix and install Kismet on it, or use Airsnort in Windows or some other software specially written for this...Next read up on google about WEP encryption cracking which is really simple and which for it exists applications you simply install and let run and after a few million packets it will give you the correct WEP key...After that it's just a matter of trying to connect, if you do not find any wireless access points just buy an external antenna for your wifi card...If the user you wanna hack uses MAC address based authentication just sniff the traffic, you will see his MAC address; now simply change yours for the same during the night when he is not online and login to his access point and add your real (or a fake would be wiser maybe) MAC address and then just surf on...
---agissi--- said:
my friend who lives in a neighbor hood - his wireless router picked up a neighbors connection, but for some reason it wouldnt connect :(
Didou said:
Some people buy laptops with a wireless LAN & surf the net from a neighbour's wireless modem without knowing. Whenever I talk to someone who wants to go wireless, they don't seem to understand that you need for your computer to have a wireless card but you also need a modem & an Internet connection (which means a subscription to an ISP).They generally think they'll just get the laptop & connect to the Internet from anywhere as if it's a free public-service like the radio.;)It must be hard for the one guy in the building who has a wireless modem being used by all the inhabitants of the building. Sucks to be him.
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.