Accidental War Driver Feedback

Well, the latest feedback for today was certainly interesting. Check out the responses for the “Accidental War Driver” article…

Frederick writes:
I do PC troubleshooting, repair, and various setups. I used to do a lot more, but these days with the low cost of replacements, computer repair has sort of gone the way of shoe repair.

I’m based in northern Westchester County, New York. Over the past few years I have set up a number of Wi-Fi networks. Until recently, I really didn’t worry too much about wardrivers and unknowns hooking up to our networks. The homes are fairly separated up here and I really could not imagine anyone finding one let alone connecting. I often had trouble myself connecting in-house. That was before the advent of new, more powerful directional antennas. Since setting up a client and I discovered three available networks, all un-encrypted, I have started using the encryption feature. I won’t say I, myself, haven’t used an available un-encrypted network when I needed to, but I do not want to be responsible for giving away my client’s broadband access or, worse, their files.

It’s clear that the problem is caused by equipment manufacturers defaulting to open networks. All it would take is making encryption the default choice and the problem would go away.

Lipwah writes:
I’ve noticed on my Cingular wireless card at least four or five unsecured APs and they are not at hotels or Internet coffee shops.

Liam writes:
I’ve never written to you before, but today’s article hit a raw nerve with me.

I live and work in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a lot of what I do out of work includes setting up small home Wi-Fi networks for people who don’t have a clue… almost every time I go to someone’s house and play around with their wireless card, I can guarantee that i’m gonna be able to tune into somebody else’s wireless network and sometimes two or three…

One of my friends has got a 13-year-old son (who’s pretty PC savvy) whose sole Internet connection is through someone else’s wireless router and he can even log in to the router to get ports opened! – I don’t say anything to them about this because it’s a one-parent family that is pretty strapped for cash…

I’m sure it’s all because these wireless routers come without instructions to lock them down – and the default settings, of course, are not secure – I always use MAC filtering and WPA-PSK these days when setting up for clients…

I think the problem is basically just lack of knowledge and also lack of instructions for wireless devices out of the box.

Alain writes:
Don’t you think it would be nice if everyone secured their server properly and then could leave Wi-Fi AP wide open for others to use while on their way?

It would cut our mobile phone bill and might as well open a new breach for free mobile Skyping.

There’s too much bandwidth, anyway, on most private APs. Why wouldn’t you lend your Wi-Fi while you’re working and shopping?

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