April 14th, 2005

Bubbles

Stupidity, on a grand scale!

Went warwalking with my new PDA today. I circled around about half of this office complex, and discovered about 15 different companies using wireless. Of these, 5 were totally unsecured, and 3 of them I could get a strong enough signal to not only connect, but access the web.

Nearly all of them were on channel 6, which makes for a rather noisy environment. Only 2 users bothered to try 1 or 11 (I'm one of them), and there were a couple jackasses using 4 and 8 (for those not familiar with 802.11, each "channel" actually overlaps the 4 above and below, so the only channel selections that allow for the maximum number of channels is 1, 6, and 11. Using any other channels reduces the available clear bandwidth down to just 2 channels)

Fortunatly the construction of the buildings here seems to drastically cut down on noise, you have to stand right in front of the door to get a strong enough signal to connect.

I was tempted to try poking around on our neighbor's networks, port scanning and whatnot, but that would take more time and battery power than I have at the moment.

Now the question is, should I tell these people about their security problems, or should I let Darwin weed out those who don't understand the technology?