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NY case underscores Wi-Fi privacy dangers


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#1 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:41 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of "pedophile!" and "pornographer!" stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn't need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.

That new wireless router. He'd gotten fed up trying to set a password. Someone must have used his Internet connection, he thought.

"We know who you are! You downloaded thousands of images at 11:30 last night," the man's lawyer, Barry Covert, recounted the agents saying. They referred to a screen name, "Doldrum."

"No, I didn't," he insisted. "Somebody else could have but I didn't do anything like that."

"You're a creep ... just admit it," they said.

Law enforcement officials say the case is a cautionary tale. Their advice: Password-protect your wireless router.


For the rest of the article:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/24/2183045/ny-case-underscores-wi-fi-privacy.html

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#2 ThunderZ

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:51 PM

I see it all the time in the Networking forum.

Was`t that long ago I was told setting up a secure connection was to difficult and the poster did not care if some one used his wireless to get their e mail.

Will people ever learn?

#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:22 PM

Will people ever learn?


No. Some people won't. The ones that do learn-it's after someone used their unsecure network and there was some type of harm done.

What I don't understand is why they think it's difficult to set up a secure connection.

My D-Link set up was idiot proof. I popped in the cd that came with my router and I was able to set it up and secure it in less than 5 minutes.

My first router didn't have set it up using the cd, and I had to muddle through the router configuration pages.

I know my network is secure. When my ex-son-in-law was visiting, he brought his MacBook. He couldn't access the network until I gave him the password, which I had forgotten. I had to wait until my husband got home so I could ask him what the password was.

#4 sh4rkbyt3

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:37 PM

While I agree that setting up the defense on your wireless network is important this only reiterates exactly what I discussed several years ago.

The real problem is we have a law enforcement and judicial system that are both almost completely ignorant of technology. Instead of doing the proper research in advance, a search warrant is issued and then executed illegally (essentially) and lives and homes are destroyed in the process. Some on here may not be old enough to remember the case in California in the 80's (during the pedo witch hunts). A daycare center operated by a family was raided after police aggresively investigated an alleged potential child molestation in the daycare. All of the family members running the daycare were eventually convicted and served time without ever having done anything wrong. An overzealous DA and Sheriff fabricated some of the testimony and coerced the children into believeing they had been molested when in fact they weren't.

This points out the overwhelming falability in law enforcement (yet again) when dealing with things such as this which are extremely serious in nature. Given the right tools and atmosphere THEY (law enforcement) can make whatever they want, appear to be true. Void of hard evidence and facts lives are and will be destroyed in the process.

While this and several other cases point to the fact of open wireless connections being vulnerable, what would happen if a hacker chose to do the same thing and used your computer as a bot or hub? Or maybe simply a storage center that they visited at their leisure? This isn't the end of this type of incident either. I expect it to become more and more prevalent in situations such as this or in illegal electronic commerce as well. The problem though is we're all subject to prosecution or worse because of our ignorant judges and law enforcement who become empowered suddenly with little to no knowledge whatsoever of how things operate in the electronic world. Sadly we in essence also become equally as ignorant because we're not all able to thwart highly skilled hackers but we don't set out to destroy other people's lives through our ignorance. That is the difference!




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