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technorabble

Unencrypted Wireless Network

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I've moved in with a bunch of fellow students who have been "benefitting" from a nearby unsecured wireless network. Security considerations for my housemates aside, I know that our neighbour's internet connection is taking a serious P2P battering. Assuming the owner isn't hugely tech savvy... is there a way I can get a message to this person suggesting that for their own good they might want to pop some encryption on there? As for my housemates - I'll be getting a nice fat line of my own, and will no doubt open it up to them. Within the constraints of my iron fist of control of course. Thanks for any thoughts.

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Original post by technorabble
Assuming the owner isn't hugely tech savvy... is there a way I can get a message to this person suggesting that for their own good they might want to pop some encryption on there?
For a somewhat evil solution, login to the routers admin page (if he hasn't passworded the network, he is likely using default admin password as well), and apply encryption yourself. Upon noticing that he can't connect, your neighbour will either: a) fix the issue, or b) ask an expert to fix the issue. If the network goes back to being open, well, some people never learn.

For a solution which is far less evil, but also involves far more work, pull up a decently sensitive wifi monitor (while true; do clear; iwconfig wlan0; done should do the trick on linux), and walk around the hallway/building noting signal strength. You ought to be able to narrow it down to a single apartment with some judicious triangulation/guesswork.

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Original post by technorabble

Assuming the owner isn't hugely tech savvy... is there a way I can get a message to this person suggesting that for their own good they might want to pop some encryption on there?

If you know who the owner is, then some form of verbal communication would probably do the trick.
If you don't know who they are, then you are a student, and do some wardriving to find them.

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As for my housemates - I'll be getting a nice fat line of my own, and will no doubt open it up to them. Within the constraints of my iron fist of control of course.

Why? You should never give up the freeloaders.

Quote:
For a somewhat evil solution, login to the routers admin page (if he hasn't passworded the network, he is likely using default admin password as well), and apply encryption yourself. Upon noticing that he can't connect, your neighbour will either: a) fix the issue, or b) ask an expert to fix the issue. If the network goes back to being open, well, some people never learn.


Meh, DMCA and all that, two wrongs don't make a right under today's legal systems. All those anti-vigilante clauses. If anything, tampering with private property would be handled much sooner in courts than the MPAA/RIAA lawsuits. I wouldn't mess with it myself.

It would get even worse if the router happens to be campus or school property or some company. Soon you'd have FBI chasing down Chinese spies, given all the hubbub going on these days.

Come to think of it - messing with other routers is a really bad idea.

Quote:
Upon noticing that he can't connect, your neighbour will either: a) fix the issue, or b) ask an expert to fix the issue.

Or, in real world:
c) Mah IE broke and mah monitor is under warranty and I want a new one

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Technically, you may be able to use a WiFi sniffer, look for POP traffic, and figure out their e-mail address that way. Or look for webmail traffic, if it doesn't go over https. Legally, I have no idea where on the spectrum between "listening to CB radio" and "breaking and entering" doing that would end up -- It would be a good idea to check with a legal professional if you want advice on that topic.

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