What’s the next best thing to being next door to an inherently unsecure wireless network?
Being on the same wireless network.
If you’re a hacker on the same network protected network, there are fewer obstacles between you and your target. Instead of picking up packets with a packet sniffer, you can probably just lurk.
I don’t know for sure. I’m not a hacker. But I’m getting something of an idea about how that might work. Anyway, they use shared–low security or open wireless networks– for much of the cyberstalking they do, presumably because, if a network has a guest portal, you might not even have to crack it to use it. And then, if access is open to everyone, who’s to know you were even there? And if you’re following a victim down a familiar route on a public street, you can map out the wireless hotspots in advance and string them together like one continuous access point. It’s a wired city. Anyway, if I get more insight into how this would work, I’ll let you know.
Shortly after the guy in the mobbing house to the north of me moved into it… yeah, I’m talking about the guy with the very highly esteemed profession who fipped me the bird from his side windows this morning as I descended the stairs from my front deck to the driveway, the same guy with the motion detector on a motion-activated light pointed at my porch as of late. (The Seattle Department of Planning and Permitting guy did come and fill out a report about the light, but Mr. Mobber to my north has been turning it on when I’m home and he’s in town, for effect it would seem.) Anyway, pretty much the first time I met the guy, he suggested that we could share a wireless network, to save money.
He said he’d done it before and it worked great. He pointed out that our houses were so close together that the signal should be just fine.
Reluctant, I said that I didn’t use wireless much. That I preferred Ethernet for my work at home. That it was faster, more secure, blah blah blah.
But then I thought about it and decided that if sharing a wireless network with him helped to build a friendly relationship, it might be worth it. After all, my hope was that the presence of these new owners of the houses on either side of me would put the kibosh on the evil machinations of the wicked neighborhood watch co-captain and her Gang of Five, or was that the Axis of Evil? Meh. Same diff. Anywho….
Not too long after that, he showed up at my door one day, asking to see my router. This was before he began parading around on his veranda on a regular basis with his shirt off or in his pajamas, shaking out his bedding and beating it above my garden. You’ve gotta hand it to the military. I understand they teach men like him how to make a real good bed. I’m looking forward to the guy laying in it too.
His interest in my router seemed curious, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and led him to the router in a tangle of Ethernet cables and dust bunnies. On his knees (and this is a position I hope to see him in again, right before the FBI leads him away in leg irons), he seemed disapproving of my housekeeping. I remember him picking up the modem and looking at it. At any rate, he didn’t stay long.
The next time I asked him about it, he said that he needed to find out if it was legal to share a wireless network.
I hadn’t really thought about this offer of his in a while, but it crossed my mind tonight.What was the point of coming over to check out my router, I wondered?
Maybe… maybe it’s easier to hack a router when you know what kind of router you’re hacking.