Author Topic: PluggedIn: Wireless networks --easy hacker pickings  (Read 3615 times)

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Offline Corrine

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PluggedIn: Wireless networks --easy hacker pickings
« on: August 06, 2005, 05:47:16 PM »

By Andy Sullivan Fri Aug 5, 2:32 PM ET

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Wireless Internet users may not know that it's easy for outsiders to read their email or scoop up passwords or other sensitive information.

Secretly using a stranger's Wi-Fi connection is so easy that sniffing out open connections has become a sport among computer hackers.

At a recent conference in Las Vegas, wireless network enthusiasts, known as "wardrivers," had two hours to find 1,000 wireless networks in one of many contests that test their prowess.

Hackers ogled high-powered antennas that can pick up signals from over a mile away, and promoted wardriving Web sites like that map millions of wireless access points, or "hotspots," around the globe.

Hacking the Defcon conference's own wireless network proved popular as well -- organizers said they fended off some 1,200 attempts to compromise network security.

Wardrivers say the goal is not to steal bandwidth or spy on unsuspecting Internet users, and they frown upon those who do so. Rather, they hope to convince consumers and equipment manufacturers to improve the dismal state of wireless security.

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