http://rtnews.globetechnology.com/servlet/ArticleNews/tech/RTGAM/20020903/gtwar/Technology/techBN/ By JACK KAPICA Globe and Mail Update Tuesday, September 3 Alberta hackers have discovered that two-thirds of the province's wireless computer networks are operating with an unsecured connection. The results were collected during a highly unorganized "international wardriving day" held Saturday in Red Deer, Alta. "Wardriving" - sometimes called "net stumbling" - is a game that grew out of an earlier activity called "war dialing," which was popularized in the 1983 movie War Games. In that film, software was used to dial many phone numbers automatically, looking for lines that are answered by modems. In "wardriving," hackers drive around with computers outfitted with wireless connectors searching for signals based on a standard called 802.11b, which has become very popular in both offices and homes where computers are networked. Also called WiFi, the high-frequency networks have an effective range of about 30 metres but can extend much farther. The aim of "wardriving" is to find a network that has not been encrypted, one that allows any passerby equipped with a device using the 802.11b standard to log in without effort. Organizer Jason Kaczor said that of the 495 wireless networks his group found on its brief day-long tour through parts of Alberta, only 172 - 34 per cent - are encrypted. The remaining 66 per cent are unsecured. In the Alberta version of "wardriving day," three vehicles cruised through Red Deer. Between 6 a.m., when Mr. Kaczor left Calgary for Red Deer, and 8 a.m., he said he found more than 300 wireless networks. Within the first 90 minutes he spent in Red Deer, he found about 40. "Almost everything found within Red Deer is open," he said. There were some initial errors, he said, because a number of the machines he found that had been named "home" and secured with encryption were probably field laptops used by a construction company. Hackers in other cities searched for wireless networks the same day. In Baltimore, Maryland, their efforts were frustrated by heavy rain, which dampens the signals used by the wireless devices. "We know from previous experience in both Calgary and Edmonton that this is only the surface," said Mr. Kaczor. "I've personally only been through a tiny portion of Calgary, and then I was not even venturing deep into suburbia. "Saturday morning I was picking the low-hanging fruit. The University of Calgary has about nine or 10 wireless access points, only three of which were encrypted. Not good." All of the networks at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, however, are encrypted, he added. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Thu Sep 05 2002 - 01:08:31 PDT