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scerruti
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Unauthorized WiFi Access Revisited Reply with quote Back to top

We have discussed the use of open WiFi access points for SoftPhone or with the WiFi phones.

According to a July 4th story in the St. Petersburg Times an arrest was made on April 20th for unlawful WiFi use that "is considered the first of its kind in Tampa Bay and among only a few so far nationwide." The accused was charged with unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony.

Wi-Fi cloaks a new breed of intruder

I have a feeling that the majority of these cases have and will revolve more around how the Internet was being used (i.e. for illegal activity) and that unauthorized access will continue to be used for law enforcement to get their foot in the door to collect additional evidence or add to the charges in hopes of an easier plea bargain.

If a court convicts this man for unauthorized access will it change your opinion of the legality of this issue?

If you currently use open access points, do you have concerns over your privacy when connected?

Do you think we need new laws governing wireless access? At what level should they be enacted?

Is it wrong to leave an access point open if your ISP prohibits connection sharing?

Do you currently use Vonage over any WiFi besides your own (hotspot, office, campus, open access point)? If so, has the availability of free Internet access freed you from carrying a mobile phone?

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Trowski
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am all against the mooching, but the interesting point would be that if someone's home wifi spot is not encrypted, and extends out onto a public road, does that then make it a "public" wifi spot? If the signal is not picked up from someone specifically standing on your property, then I could see someone trying to make a argument for something like that.
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otaku
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

All WiFi access points and routers allow the user to restrict access by securing their wireless network. This puts the obligation in the hands of the consumer. If they fail to secure their network, then they are at fault (in my opinion) for anything that is done with their network.

Of course, if the WEP (or whatever) protection was maliciously broken, well, then...obviously the network owner tried to restrict access and failed.

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mpod
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm always curious as to whether anyone's tried a "it must have been someone who hacked into my WiFi connection" defense to RIAA lawsuits. I think it would be pretty impossible for the RIAA to prove that it wasn't a reasonable possibility. Of course, even if that's what really happened, it's probably cheaper for a falsely accused person to just pay the settlement than pay attorney fees to fight it.
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arcking
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
All WiFi access points and routers allow the user to restrict access by securing their wireless network. This puts the obligation in the hands of the consumer. If they fail to secure their network, then they are at fault (in my opinion) for anything that is done with their network.

Of course, if the WEP (or whatever) protection was maliciously broken, well, then...obviously the network owner tried to restrict access and failed.


I agree with otaku except for
Quote:
If they fail to secure their network, then they are at fault (in my opinion) for anything that is done with their network.

I feel that it is not their fault if someone does something bad using their internet connection because there are many other places they could have done it and they are not saying "come do bad things on my internet connection" although computer people who know what they are doing may think of it as that. I still think it would better if they were to protect their networks.

I also think that if they leave their network open and get hacked they were asking for it. Now-a-days when you can drive your car around with a PDA and GPS and compile a list of APs and their coordinates it should not be "I hope my network doesn't get found" because it probably will. I'm not saying its okay to steal people credit card numbers on their wireless network, but you can't say they hacked into the network to do it.

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Trowski
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Can leaving your network open without WEP and have someone access your network is that really being hacked per se? To me hacking would entail getting past the WEP....

At some point it will be interesting to see if when you set up a wireless router if the WEP will become standard, ie part of the install.

Mpod, I have seen a few arguments online about "hey, it was not me downloading all of those songs" etc when it comes to the RIAA...
But it comes back the point that either it was either them doing the downloading, or again they did not want to input the 24+ character WEP key...like that takes SO much time to write it down....

So, therefore if I leave my front door to my house wide open, and someone walks in and takes my TV, all of my electronics, and makes about $3000 worth of 900 number calls, is it then my problem? Some thing you hear about people having parties and someone runs up huge phonebill..Hey, I did not TECHNICALLY make the calls, so I am not responsible....Wrong...

I am a firm believer, especially with the extreme ease that someone can access your wireless network, that is you fault..

Ok, time for me to get off my soapbox.... Very Happy
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mpod
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
Mpod, I have seen a few arguments online about "hey, it was not me downloading all of those songs" etc when it comes to the RIAA...
But it comes back the point that either it was either them doing the downloading, or again they did not want to input the 24+ character WEP key...like that takes SO much time to write it down....

So, therefore if I leave my front door to my house wide open, and someone walks in and takes my TV, all of my electronics, and makes about $3000 worth of 900 number calls, is it then my problem? Some thing you hear about people having parties and someone runs up huge phonebill..Hey, I did not TECHNICALLY make the calls, so I am not responsible....Wrong...

I am a firm believer, especially with the extreme ease that someone can access your wireless network, that is you fault..

Ok, time for me to get off my soapbox.... Very Happy

I certainly understand your perspective. However I believe your analogy is a little flawed. I think it's more accurate to ask if a person is responsible because they bought a house with a front door that an average person probably has no reason to assume doesn't lock, but in actuality will open to anyone who wants it to. Now, it may seem to many people, especially a large subset of the people who post on door security message boards, that it's obvious that to really secure your door you have to take a few additional one-time configuration steps. However, there are many home owners who have never been told and have no reason to know that they are leaving their house open to anyone by not taking these steps which they are unaware of.

Even if you still say it's those ignorant people's fault, for your analogy to be truly accurate it has to allow for the fact that even if a homeowner does configure his door's locks properly, any malicious person out there with just a tiny bit of know how, and freely available tools, can with enough time (a week or less) and no effort on their part bypass your door's lock and root around your house without any knowledge on your part. Because it's naive to think that 128-bit WEP is anything more than a small speed bump to someone who knows how to use Google and decides that he wants to access your closed network. And there's a good chance that any person who wants to use someone else's wireless network specifically so that they can't be traced by, say, the RIAA, is a person who knows how find and download the simple tools to do just that.

I'm not at all suggesting that most of the targets of RIAA lawsuits are innocent, uknowing dupes. However, since it is exceedingly easy for someone to crack a WEP-enabled wireless network, it's certainly possible for just about any of us to unknowingly be providing Internet access to an illegal filesharer. And so there's no way for an innocent victim to provide any evidence that that differentiates themselves from a guilty person who is lying. So can the RIAA really hold a person who secured their wireless network as well as possible responsible for the actions of someone else? ISP's aren't held financially liable for the actions of their users. They may be subpoenaed and/or required to terminate service... so what's the equivalent option for a home user with no logs? Be required to change their key?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
So, therefore if I leave my front door to my house wide open, and someone walks in and takes my TV, all of my electronics, and makes about $3000 worth of 900 number calls, is it then my problem? Some thing you hear about people having parties and someone runs up huge phonebill..Hey, I did not TECHNICALLY make the calls, so I am not responsible....Wrong...


If you kept your WiFi signal within your house, then your analogy would be appropriate. However, you don't own the sidewalk, or the street, or the airwaves for that matter.

You have the right to prevent me from using your Internet connection. The best way is to not use WiFi on it. Physically entering your building is illegal and that's how I'd have to get access.

Since you spill your signal onto the sidewalk and street, and don't encrypt it, I am free to use it. The spectrum is public domain. You have the right to use it - and so do I.
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Trowski
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Mpod, good update to my analogy...I appreciate the insight..A very easy search on the internet and you can bust on through the WEP..and I got off Wifi just for that reason, as I don't need access out there for any Tom Dick and Harry to get...

Photojim, you reiterated what I was saying about if my wifi connection went onto the sidewalk etc...But also, if yours was not encrypted as the majority aren't, and you saw some guy right infront of your house sucking up your bandwidth, would you still say the same thing? "Oh well for me, I should get that security up now" or would you go screaming outside at the person using you connection?
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