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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Open Access Wireless danger

I sit here writing this in an open access point. Not my wireless, not my broadband. I happen to be sat in my grandmother's conservatory after fixing a garden lighting solution, to be honest those god awful solar lights - which I don't rate at all although I must be honest I haven't seen these ones in action in the dark, just me waving my hand over the sensor.

I digress.

Well knowing this I decided to bring along the trusty MBP and run an app I've had sitting there for a while called iStumbler it is a port of the same suite of apps for the PC platform called net stumbler.

From my house to my grandmother's house I found out three things. 1) Wifi is now prevalent 2) That wifi is mostly open access 3) This wifi density can be a decent economic indicator.

in the task of "making the technology" invisible many of the devices now to market work right out of the box. To achieve this manufacturers have chosen a path of least resistance, that is allowing their device to talk to anything that wants to have a natter.

Whilst this might be great for the average home user and could even be an intentional attempt to make the net connection a communal or community driven aspect, I fear it is in fact merely connivence.

Of the 35+ access points only 14 are secured that's < 50% this isn't just going to let me go on the web for free, I imagine if rather than just crawling down the street in second gear, (that's a manual car yes) I stopped and made like a naughty naughty boy I'm pretty sure i could have found some shared playlists, some open shares and lets face it if I'm on your network I can watch what you do.

I am not going to enter "life rant" mode I thought I would merely post my observations and allow you to discuss.

I've gotta draw your attention to some of the humorous names of peoples networks... "YouCantUseThis" and "Mumwirefree" I thought were cute.

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