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You can steal Wi-Fi?

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Postby Coppermine » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:44 am

Let me make one other point, from an IT standpoint. This is why it is YOUR responsibility to secure your router.

I live in a garden apartment. There are many, active, Wi-Fi connections within range of my computer. I once picked up 17 at once. Every single one of them is secured except one other. That network's name is "linksys." Which means some dope bought a router, connected it to his computer and turned it on.

Here's the problems with that. First, anyone can get into his router. If you're network ID is the default "linksys" then I can connect to your router, type in 192.168.1.1 and get into your router settings. From there I can change the password on your router, change your network ID and the settings. If I was really crafty, I could get into your files. Illegal? Absolutely! Punishable? Sure! But is it enforceable? Not in a practical way.

Now I have my own network ID setup for my connection and when I turn on my computer, it automatically connects to my network. But lets say my router is off, or my connection is down. Do you know what my computer does automatically? Yep, it connects to the NEXT AVAILABLE CONNECTION. Most people would have NO CLUE they're even on someone else's network if they don't realize theirs is down. So what, these people should be arrested because some idiot didn't RTFM?

The reason I'm gung ho on this is because piggybacking internet is an unenforceable "crime" and that people need to learn to be responsible for securing their own internet. This guy that got caught is one in a million.
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Postby Amazinz » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:49 am

You cannot put onus on the end user. Technology is evolving far too quickly for that. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up, even for people who work in a tech industry. Joe Doofus must be able to have the right to Internet access without any knowledge of computer security.
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:51 am

Amazinz wrote:You cannot put onus on the end user. Technology is evolving far too quickly for that. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up, even for people who work in a tech industry. Joe Doofus must be able to have the right to Internet access without any knowledge of computer security.


But how? I mean, I'm trying to look at this from a logical perspective... you can't just say "don't do it" and it will work; just look at MP3's. People know downloading music is illegal, but they do it anyway because it's seen as a victimless crime. Now I don't condone piggybacking Wi-Fi or illegally downloading music, but if someone wants something of their protected, they need to protect it.

The encryption on Wi-Fi connections, now at 128-bit is un-hackable. It doesn't matter how much technology changes, that encryption will hold true as it has for the past 50 years with the DoD. In fact, 12 bit is more than enough, but routers are secured at 128.

You set up a WEP or WPA key, and you're set for life.
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Postby Amazinz » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:56 am

Coppermine wrote:but if someone wants something of their protected, they need to protect it.


Yeah I don't disagree with that at all. But we can't dismiss illegal activity just because some tech-dummy doesn't know how to set up his router. That would be suggesting gross negligence or something and I think it's a stretch to consider improper computer security negligence unless you do it professionally.
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:20 pm

Amazinz wrote:
Coppermine wrote:but if someone wants something of their protected, they need to protect it.


Yeah I don't disagree with that at all. But we can't dismiss illegal activity just because some tech-dummy doesn't know how to set up his router. That would be suggesting gross negligence or something and I think it's a stretch to consider improper computer security negligence unless you do it professionally.


Well, I agree that it shouldn't be dismissed... but as I said, if your router isn't secure, people could be inadvertently connecting to your connection all the time. Should they be punished because they are also tech-dummies?

It's difficult to draw a line in the sand and say this is legal and this isn't. I'm not a carpenter, but I can put together a desk from IKEA because it comes with instructions. So does your router. If that's a hassle, then pay Geek Squad from Best Buy the 50 bucks or whatever to come over and set it up.

Besides, if your Internet signal is on MY property, don't I have a right to do whatever I want with it? ;-7
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Postby josebach » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:37 pm

Coppermine wrote:Well, I agree that it shouldn't be dismissed... but as I said, if your router isn't secure, people could be inadvertently connecting to your connection all the time. Should they be punished because they are also tech-dummies?


I'm pretty sure if you have your own wi-fi signal that you were paying for and accidentally used someone else's, they wouldn't press charges. Not only that, but as far as I know, computers don't automatically go to the next available signal and start using it. At least the wi-fi computers I've seen don't.
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:41 pm

josebach wrote:
Coppermine wrote:Well, I agree that it shouldn't be dismissed... but as I said, if your router isn't secure, people could be inadvertently connecting to your connection all the time. Should they be punished because they are also tech-dummies?


I'm pretty sure if you have your own wi-fi signal that you were paying for and accidentally used someone else's, they wouldn't press charges. Not only that, but as far as I know, computers don't automatically go to the next available signal and start using it. At least the wi-fi computers I've seen don't.


They do and it's a default setting. It will go to the next available connection. So if someone's signal is within range and unsecure, and my network it down, you'll connect to it without even knowing.
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:19 pm

I think we're on the same page more or less, but I'm not disagreeing with you on the fact that the end user should be obligated to secure their connection if they in fact do not want people using it without their knowledge. All I'm saying is that when you do it -- knowingly or even unknowingly -- it's still stealing something that is tangible and is something you don't legally have a right to use. Most people won't see it as being on the same level as stealing something like a TV or a computer, but it's stealing nonetheless. That's my point .. that it's still stealing even if you can't see touch or smell it.

And while you're right that it would take a lot of traffic drain your bandwidth, just streaming a game on MLB.tv causes my (albeit crappy) connection to come to a crawl, so it really doesn't take all that much.
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:20 pm

Amazinz wrote:
Coppermine wrote:but if someone wants something of their protected, they need to protect it.


Yeah I don't disagree with that at all. But we can't dismiss illegal activity just because some tech-dummy doesn't know how to set up his router. That would be suggesting gross negligence or something and I think it's a stretch to consider improper computer security negligence unless you do it professionally.

Agreed.
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Postby Boyakasha » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:23 pm

josebach wrote:I was just in California and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend steal their neighbors wi-fi. I held my tongue. :-/


Wait, what? Isn't your sister-in-law married to your brother? You must be pretty open-minded if you hang out with your brother's wife and her boyfriend. :-b
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