[EAS]Pounding the Wireless Beat

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Mon Sep 30 23:02:21 EDT 2002

Subject:   Pounding the Wireless Beat

(from NewsScan Daily, 30 September 2002)

Secret Service agents in Washington are driving the city's streets
(in an  effort called "wardriving") to detect security holes in
wireless  communications systems. Special Agent Wayne Peterson says,
"Everybody wants  wireless, it's real convenient. Security has
always been an afterthought." He regards what he is doing as a
normal part of police work, and compares it to a patrolman driving
through a neighborhood to make sure everyone is safe. When he or
his colleagues find a security gap, they report it to the companies
that operate the vulnerable wireless networks, so that the problem
can be fixed. The Secret Service calls security holes in wireless 
communications systems one of the most overlooked threats to
computer  networks. (AP/San Jose Mercury News 30 Sep 2002)

(from Edupage, September 30, 2002)

In an effort to inform businesses about lax security on their
wireless networks, agents from the Secret Service are wandering the
streets of Washington, D.C., looking for unprotected wireless
networks. Using a laptop, a wireless card, and one of several
antennae--one made from a Pringles can--agents drive through city
streets, checking for access to networks. Chris McFarland of the
Secret Service's Electronic Crimes Task Force said that "people can
wreak havoc with [unprotected wireless] systems." Special Agent
Wayne Peterson said that on a recent trip down one street, they
found more than 20 networks, many without any security at all.
Peterson said he sees the work of securing such networks as an
important step in preventing crime. Associated Press, 29 September
2002 (registration req'd)

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