Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WiFi bounty hunter

After reading “The great WiFi robbery: police to patrol down your street” what I want to know is there some sort of bounty that I can claim if I find an open WiFi hotspot? It is interesting that police are now diverting resources to warn people about the issues of unprotected wireless.

 

"All unsecured WiFi networks out there are open for exploitation by the crooks and the average mum and dad don't understand the vulnerabilities”

I have no argument with this statement but is it likely that others are going to appreciate the seriousness of the issue? As I mentioned in another recent post, most people still have no idea about the differences a digital world has created. An even earlier post I detailed how, on a recent visit to a friend, I found an unprotected WiFi hot spot in the street. This is not a new issue.

 

The article also says:

 

“He blamed computer equipment sellers for not doing enough to educate customers on the importance of security.”

 

Again no argument there. For my part I have created a YouTube video that highlights the issues with WiFi security. When I teach my Wireless Networking course at community college I ensure that I drum into attendees that wireless is ALWAYS more insecure that wired. It can be made more secure but it can never be made totally invulnerable to attack or compromise. The biggest problem is that generally out of the box most WiFi is totally insecure.

 

So where does the responsibility for WiFi security lie? With the user? With the equipment provider? With the installer? With the police? As the article highlights:

 

“The Queensland operation could attract criticism from those who believe police time would be better spent seeking out drug dealers and robbers, but Detective Superintendent Hay said the issue was just as important as any other.”

 

Which again harks back to my thoughts on how little most people really understand our digital world and the interaction it plays in the real world. The best advice I can give is to take responsibility for your own digital security. If you don’t understand then learn, otherwise sooner or later you’ll become a victim.