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Australian Police Plan Wardriving Mission

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the village-green-preservation-society dept.

Wireless Networking 340

bfire writes "Police officers in the Australian state of Queensland plan to conduct a 'wardriving' mission around select towns in an effort to educate citizens to secure their wireless networks. When unsecured networks are found, the Police will pay a friendly visit to the household or small business, informing them of the risks they are exposing themselves to. Officers also hope to return to surveyed areas within a month to see if users have fixed their security settings. The idea is modeled on another campaign where officers walk around railway stations checking cars have been locked, and leaving notes warning people of the dangers involved with leaving their vehicles unsecured."

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Aiding and Abetting? (4, Insightful)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727103)

"checking cars have been locked, and leaving notes warning people of the dangers involved with leaving their vehicles unsecured."

So, as a criminal, the police have saved me the trouble of having to work out which cars are unlocked by flagging them up for me?

Slightly more on topic, is there a law against leaving your network open in Australia? What if I'm just being helpful, will they continue to badger me until I lock down my access point?

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727135)

Yeah putting helpful messages on cars that let thieves know what cars to steal. What a stupid idea.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (5, Funny)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727191)

Well, the police also lock the cars as well as putting notes on them...

A friend of mine got hit by this, he had an old car which used 2 keys - one to open the door, and one to start the engine... He had lost the door key, but still had the engine one, so he simply left the car unlocked. Being an old, rusty and totally worthless looking vehicle it never got stolen, and he never left anything in it worth stealing either. It wasn't a problem until the cops came along and locked him out of it.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (2, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727305)

crooks will still steal them to use in committing ram raids and such though. here being able to lock your car is part of getting a road worthy cert, and it's not at all a bad thing.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (3, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727355)

Right. Because, every day, the news [google.com] is positively littered with articles about thieves who have used an unlocked car as a ram.

As if smashing the window and opening the door the old-fashioned way were so difficult.

[/sarcasm, for the sarcasm-impaired.]

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727421)

But ... but that would be like... you know, breaking into the car before stealing it!

I'm fairly sure that's in some way illegal.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (4, Funny)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727425)

I'm not doing a RAM raid with the side window smashed, it completely ruins the air con. effectiveness.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727345)

Being an old, rusty and totally worthless looking vehicle it never got stolen, and he never left anything in it worth stealing either. It wasn't a problem until the cops came along and locked him out of it.

...for his own safety? ;)

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (1, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727509)

And because in one unlikely, rare event the thing doesn't work out, that means?

Everything has its downsides. Heck, feeding starving children in Africa probably creates a few fatalities (overeating, getting sick, or being killed when the sack of rice falls on you, whatever). It's just that the net effect is positive.(*)

(*) let's not discuss the Africa example, I know that in some cases it's not positive, local economy and all that.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727535)

If everyone died tomorrow there'd be fewer fatalities in the long run. :)

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727747)

I'm sorry, but I'm seeing tons of replies to this and I can't believe no one has asked this question: HOW do the police lock the cars? They'd need keys, no?

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (2, Interesting)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727799)

Well, the police also lock the cars as well as putting notes on them...

How exactly? My car can only be locked with both doors already closed. This is a safety to make it impossible for you to be locked out. So if you wanna lock it without keys from outside, you need one window down (which they wouldn't be able to as the electric motors require the ignition to be on).

Plus I don't want anyone fiddling with my car, good intentions or otherwise. Still an invasion of my property.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727279)

Also, what is to prevent a thief from dressing up in similar clothing to a cop, and then wandering around checking the door locks like these police do?

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727431)

What's to keep me from dressing up like a cop and wander the area a few days after the real cops informed the people there that I'd come and be friendly to them? I guess not a single person will check whether I'm really a cop, they will not wonder why I want to use their computer "to make them secure"...

Hell, I don't even need a uniform for that. Make it a t-shirt saying "federal security" with a matching baseball cap (akin to that spiffy FBI gear), I won't even break a law if I manage to weasel word around saying I am in some way from the feds!

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (1)

shird (566377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727437)

The thieves can check if the cars are unlocked just as easily. Not to mention the notes can easily be left folded on the seat and not visible to passers by.

Re:Aiding and Abetting? (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727455)

Slightly more on topic, is there a law against leaving your network open in Australia? What if I'm just being helpful, will they continue to badger me until I lock down my access point?

Presumably, if you tell them you're aware of the risks but are just being helpful they won't bother you again. But that'd make too much sense...

yes and..? (4, Interesting)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727111)

so what do you think they'll say when I say I do it deliberately ?

I don't mind sharing my wifi with complete strangers. I restrict it to make sure they can't cost me too much and everything I do on it is encrypted via VPN so - meh!

Re:yes and..? (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727199)

They will say that by doing it deliberately you are aware of and accept the risks and responsibility of unknown third parties using your network to do illegal things... So if someone decides to download a bunch of kiddie porn through your open wifi, the cops will come straight back and arrest you for it.

Re:yes and..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727253)

this needs a +1 sad but true, my friend. too bad i don't have the mod points for it.

Re:yes and..? (5, Funny)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727441)

You want mod points , I got em, I can help you out with th... oh crap, I've done it again haven't I.

Re:yes and..? (2, Insightful)

nbucking (872813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727277)

Yeah but any good security+ certified IT professional knows that even a locked down wireless network is never completely secured. Like a car there are ways around a wireless security. I used to go out with a team and would crack networks of clients to see if they were updating and standardizing their encryption keys. It was rare that we cracked them but the fact that we did shows that even a secure network is never too secure. And there are always new vulnerabilities. So even if they warn you that is not an excuse to throw you in jail.

Re:yes and..? (3, Insightful)

Pastis (145655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727341)

Exactly. And this false sense of security will play against you if someone uses your line inappropriately.

You: "Your honor I didn't do it"
Them: "yeah, right. Your line was secured, only you could have done it"

instead of

You: "Your honor I didn't do it. My line was open anyone could have done it."
Them: "..."

Re:yes and..? (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727403)

The problem with what you are saying is you are thinking like an IT guy, that is to say you are logically walking through the steps from point A to Z. Not your fault really, it is pretty much the way most of us do it.

The problem with using logic is that Child Porn has become the new red scare and sadly logic often don't have shit to do with whether you will be spending years in PMITA prison or not. See McMartin preschool [wikipedia.org] and Little Rascals Daycare [religioustolerance.org] for examples.

Now see, if they had actually used logic they would have said something like "Chuck Norris killing elephants in dungeons? WTF?" but instead they bulldozed the place to the ground actually looking for the fricking dungeon! So sadly until we get rid of scaremongers like Nancy Grace and start actually using logic in the courtrooms again you would have to be batshit crazy to have an open Wifi. Because your logic doesn't really help you when everyone is treating you like a monster, the state has confiscated all your possessions and leaves you to rot in some cell.

Sad that we have fallen this far down the rabbit hole, especially when the vast majority of sexual abuse cases involves a family member or family friend and not some Internet bogeyman, but you simply can't deny reality. If the cops kick down your door and scream "Child molester!" while pointing at you nowadays you are guilty, and whether you can prove your innocence later it will often still cost you years of your life, your friends, maybe even your family. It just isn't worth it.

Re:yes and..? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727493)

Most IT pros know this, but in most countries, an illegal act coming from an IP is evidence enough to convict (in a criminal) or find the IP's owner at that time culpable for wrong doing (in a civil matter). There has yet to be a single precedent in the US and europe to disassociate an IP with a physical person. For all intents and purposes, someone acting from x.x.x.x is acting as Joe Schmoe.

Open wireless: The owner gets held liable for criminal negligence, or as a accessory.

Closed wireless: The prosecution or plaintiff's counsel will just point out that it is almost impossible that this type of breach could happen, and this is good enough for preponderance, and usually reasonable doubt.

This can burn corporations and organizations as well as individuals. All it takes is a disgruntled employee who decides to sneak a wireless AP in to a company, sets it to open, does some actions parked nearby to cause law enforcement or civil enforcement groups to issue motions of discovery, and that company is in a load of hot water without a single reasonable defense, unless they are a larger company and have the legal muscle to combat such a legal threat.

Re:yes and..? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727825)

Wait, but they will be unable to! My ISP is blocking all the kiddie porn sites! The government-sanctioned blacklist protects me! ...what, you mean it does not?

Re:yes and..? (2, Insightful)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727343)

[citation needed]

This sounds very strange. I'm going to refrain from throwing out obvious car analogies, but how can you be convicted for crimes someone else committed? Does this apply to all parts of the carrier chain? Your ISP? The phone company whose physical lines the ISP is using? The state owning the ground those lines are in?

Re:yes and..? (2, Interesting)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727585)

If you are the only one acting as an INDIVIDUAL in the chain, you will come off worst. Want to trade kiddy porn? Form a publicly traded company as a front, then any criminal downloading can be investigated 'in-house' with the details hidden for reasons of commercial confidentiality etc.

Re:yes and..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727753)

They will say that by doing it deliberately you are aware of and accept the risks and responsibility of unknown third parties using your network to do illegal things... So if someone decides to download a bunch of kiddie porn through your open wifi, the cops will come straight back and arrest you for it.

This argument doesn't work. Imagine that you secure your wireless router, someone hacks it and uses it to perform some illegal activity, which is then traced back to you. Are you now resonsible for the traffic or not? Your router is secure, so it must have been you.

You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Re:yes and..? (2, Insightful)

bronney (638318) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727285)

never ever talk to a police officer, nothing good will come out of it. Just speak Klingon and ignore them.

Re:yes and..? (0, Flamebait)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727539)

never ever talk to a police officer, nothing good will come out of it.

Why don't you Americans DO something about this obviously far-from-ideal situation??

Re:yes and..? (4, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727315)

> I don't mind sharing my wifi with complete strangers

I must need coffee. I misread this as "I don't mind sharing my wife with complete strangers."

Re:yes and..? (2, Funny)

JuzzFunky (796384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727443)

su userWithModPoints mod +funny

Re:yes and..? (2, Funny)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727465)

Would you want your next-door neighbor hammering away in bed with your wifi ?

Re:yes and..? (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727527)

I don't know. If you don't secure your wireless network, is that like saying, "Take my wifi ... please" (with respect to the late Mr. Dangerfield :))

Re:yes and..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727591)

With apologies to the late Henny Youngman, since you so rudely gave his joke away to Mr Dangerfield.

Visist Every Residence (5, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727115)

I also like the idea of police officers visiting every home and place of business, more as a social visit and to establish better ties between the police and civilians. You know, get to know 'your' local police officer and, establish a more social contact with at least one officer whom you can contact in the event of need. Also it would help to remind officers of what their role really is in assisting the public to maintain a civil and orderly society.

Of course while it might work in Australia, in the US with pepper spray and taser abuse out of control and with 'public' discussions of the effectiveness, legality and use of torture it would likely have the opposite affect and drive an even greater wedge between 'law enforcement' and the public.

Re:Visist Every Residence (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727499)

Dunno how many people would just jump out the window if the police knocked and said "hey, we just wanna talk with you".

I mean, it's not what you'd expect from the police. Also, the price for dope would certainly go up with the increased demand, considering how much would be flushed down the drain...

I smell something sinister (5, Insightful)

ring-eldest (866342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727127)

Seems like some kind of pseudo threat to me. What are they implying, that if some criminal uses their open access port to post goat porn to /b/ the home owner is going to be criminally liable? What if you _like_ having an open access port, and don't mind if your elderly neighbors use it occasionally to check their email? Quite frankly it doesn't seem to be the homeowner's job to lock the world down in order to prevent crime, especially crime that can be remedied by pulling a plug, if it ever actually causes the homeowner to lose bandwidth. Come to think about it, it's not the cops job to prevent crime either.

So, who exactly is this benefiting? My guess would be whoever provides ISP service has been hitting up their political puppets... after all, your 60 year old neighbor should get with the times and start paying $100 a month for internet access like all the other good citizens.

Re:I smell something sinister (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727219)

Why not give your elderly neighours the password to your newly secured network then?

Re:I smell something sinister (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727227)

If you know your neighbors, you can quite easily give them the key to access your wireless...
Your 60 year old neighbor isn't going to abuse it, your 16yr old neighbor isn't either because you know them and any illegal activity will easily be traced back to them... The evil kiddie fiddler who parks his van round the corner and sits in the back downloading kiddie porn through your connection doesn't know you, and you don't know him, so when the police turn up asking why your connection has been used to download kiddie porn you have nothing to tell them.

Re:I smell something sinister (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727321)

Kiddie porn is the new communism. The people who abuse the suffering of children to scare other people into giving up their rights are the real baddies here.

Re:I smell something sinister (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727387)

I think it's just a shortcut for general internet abuse that everybody recognises quickly. Like when people say that it's important to have a decent police force to catch the murderers, rather than the importance of distributing ASBOs. If your open access is used to deface web sites, it may also come back to you, but it's less likely to do so, and it probably wouldn't lose you your job if it did, so it's just easier to give the extreme example and leave it there.

Re:I smell something sinister (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727261)

I think it's a good service that they are providing.

What if someone uses your open connection to upload/download child porn? How do you plan on proving that it wasn't you? In this (unlikely) scenario the authorities will most likely get a search warrant and pay you a visit - they won't (or shouldn't) find anything, but having to explain to all your neighbours that they are wrongfully looking for child porn wouldn't be fun - true or not everyone that finds out about it won't consider it a "laughing" matter.

If you want to share your connection (as I have setup at various friends places) create a private key, share that with the people you trust and also get their MAC addresses for that little extra lock down - this works well for my friends living in units and sharing a single connection with other people within the building.

Re:I smell something sinister (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727373)

I'll see your child pornographer and raise you a communist and a terrorist. Stop scaremongering.

Stop being a nutjob and get a hold of yourself! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727267)

Seems like some kind of pseudo threat to me. What are they implying, that if some criminal uses their open access port to post goat porn to /b/ the home owner is going to be criminally liable?

It is not a threat. It is a fact. If your WLAN is left open and someone commits crimes through it, you could be really screwed. In most cases it would probably not be enough to prove that you did the crime and get you a sentence in court but it could still land you a lot of trouble. And it could be used maliciously: Let's say that a co-worker that likes neither you or your boss comes to use your WLAN to harass your boss?

There are risks in having an open WLAN. Some of them have something to do with you becoming suspected of crime, some are about how other people can commit crimes against you. It can be argued if the police is the best organization to educate about this or not but police certainly can do it and it is important thing to do.

What if you _like_ having an open access port, and don't mind if your elderly neighbors use it occasionally to check their email?

Then they say "Okay." and go to the next apartment. This isn't about them coming to force you protect your WLAN, it is about educating that "Hey, your WLAN is open. Are you aware of the risks?" Because honestly, there are a lot of WLANs that are open because their owner has forgotten to protect them, doesn't know how to do it or doesn't even know that it should be done. I would guess that these even outnumber those who leave it open intentionally.

Quite frankly it doesn't seem to be the homeowner's job to lock the world down in order to prevent crime,

Same can be said about locking your apartment's door. It isn't a homeowners job, right?

especially crime that can be remedied by pulling a plug, if it ever actually causes the homeowner to lose bandwidth.

In some cases the crime can cause a lot more. Perhaps the cops should visit you?

Come to think about it, it's not the cops job to prevent crime either.

Wait, what? Police is supposed to execute the laws which tell what people shouldn't do. It certainly isn't limited to investigating the wrongs that people have already done.

You may be a nutjob.... (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727295)

...but I agree with you.

Who the hell are "unnamed corporate partners"? And why are the police doing anything at their behest?

I'm not usually paranoid, but something is rotten in the state of Queensland.

Re:I smell something sinister (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727489)

Sometimes, things like that are dirty, yes.

Sometimes, they're just the result of some actual cop doing some actual thinking and coming up with the idea that driving around and warning people that their car is unlocked or their WLAN open may cost X, while the police actions resulting from these problems will cost Y, and X prevent crime instead of always going after the culprits after something bad has already happened. It's not a very pleasing job, that.

Re:I smell something sinister (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727671)

Come to think about it, it's not the cops job to prevent crime either.

WTF? Of course it is, doofus.

Re:I smell something sinister (4, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727693)

I wouldn't listen to the voices from your dental work. The police have been testing door locks since their inception. It's called crime prevention, and it's first and last in Peel's Nine Points:

Seems like a nice initiative to me. (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727129)

I like this: I don't think this is intruding at all, and is indeed something that most people don't realise the consequences of. Making people aware of something is never bad in my opinion.

I also hope there's room for people who, after being warned, are also free to note that they leave it open on purpose (and as such, won't get a second visit): I like my free hotspots!

Re:Seems like a nice initiative to me. (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727147)

It may not be intruding, but it sure seems like a waste of taxpayer money.

Re:Seems like a nice initiative to me. (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727273)

How then DO you suggest taxpayer money be spent?

Re:Seems like a nice initiative to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727475)

By the taxpayers and not the government?

Re:Seems like a nice initiative to me. (0)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727723)

Tax cuts work for me.

Irony (2, Interesting)

Starlon (1492461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727139)

One of my internships involved installing free and open wireless access points around my university's small town. I always wondered if another student would be taking them all down in the future. Some things are just too good to be true. Although, I hear some homeless are making use of free access points in their own cities. Why would anyone want to take that away? I'm all for free internet, and enjoyed the internship, but something tells it's just not going to last.

Re:Irony (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727349)

Where do the homeless get power for their laptops?

Re:Irony (1)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727463)

They usually sit down in a cafe or something and plug in at a wall outlet. Usually they'll buy something small so they don't get kicked out. And since I know someone will come along and say, "how do they even get a laptop!?" you can pick them up pretty damn cheap at yardsales now a days if they're really old (like a giant toshiba gray brick) or a pawn shop. It's kind of hard to be without Internet now a days, even if you're homeless, especially if you're trying to find work. Try walking around the mall someday asking for applications, most of the time some pimply faced kid or overweight middle aged guy with a neckbeard tells you it's online.

Re:Irony (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727523)

"buddy, can you spare a watt?"

You'd be surprised how easy it is to find a public power socket. Think public buildings and the need for power for maintainance crews that have to plug in their vaccuums.

thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727151)

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I'm stunned (2, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727153)

...and leaving notes warning people of the dangers involved with leaving their vehicles unsecured.

What? People don't know this in Australia? I mean if it came to become a campaign the problem must have been of significant magnitude. I'm not trying to flamebait here but back to my question: people don't know this in Australia?

Re:I'm stunned (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727195)

Not everyone worries every second if their belonging are secured. The things you own ending up owning you.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727367)

But this is not about any belongings. This is about rather important belongings, such as your car or your house. When you leave either unsupervised you make sure they're locked. In my experience people aren't even aware of it when they do it, it's more like a reflex to reach for your keys and lock the door when you leave the house or the car. Perhaps it's a mentality thing, I don't know. But I'm still surprised that such common sense isn't for granted. I mean I'm not talking about isolated cases, of course any person can forget. However if you issue a campaign it can't be about a few isolated cases.

Re:I'm stunned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727545)

There are still parts of the world where it is safe to leave doors unlocked.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727611)

Agreed, but obviously this is not one of them.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Wild Wizard (309461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727587)

There are plenty of places in Australia where there is no threat of robbery and as such there are quite a few people here who never lock their house or car.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727605)

Not everyone worries every second if their belonging are secured. The things you own ending up owning you.

But this is not about any belongings. This is about rather important belongings, such as your car or your house.

Whoosh

Re:I'm stunned (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727779)

But this is not about any belongings. This is about rather important belongings, such as your car or your house.

I doubt a locked door would stop someone that's set on stealing my house. ;-)

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727541)

Most people don't know about it and don't even think about it. First of all they're happy that their WiFi works so fine for them, without hassle. That it works just as well for others doesn't even cross their mind.

Security is an alien concept to them. When I pointed out the problem that someone could use their AP I got a bewildered look and the question "now why would anyone do that? They have their own wireless, why use mine?"

Re:I'm stunned (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727635)

No I can understand the WiFi problem. It's a rather new concept for most people and they haven't really been taught the consequences. But Benz invented the modern automobile in 1885. You'd think (or rather I'd think) that people should have learned by now.

Mac address (2, Funny)

newnerdyuser (191770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727157)

The police maybe able to see my wireless network as unsecured, but unless their mac address is in my router they have no chance of connecting to it.

Re:Mac address (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727169)

I'll spoof your MAC address and raise you a gigabyte of porn.

Re:Mac address (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727209)

Are you serious?
I suggest you read the section about mac address security here:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/index.php?p=43 [zdnet.com]

and then implement WPA (if you actually want real security)

Your current setup keeps out harmless casual users and lets in easily anyone who might want to use your connection for dodgy/illegal purposes and has the slightest clue what they are doing.

Re:Mac address (3, Informative)

newnerdyuser (191770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727365)

I said the 'Police' wont be able to connect to it. I said nothing about anyone else.

Re:Mac address (2, Informative)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727809)

It must be known to the world that 1) not broadcasting your SSID and 2) restricting MAC addresses both do NOTHING for security. Best to leave your SSID broadcast, not restrict MAC addresses, and actually implement REAL security: WPA2 with a strong key.

wardriving (1)

Z80a (971949) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727165)

so.. they will start mad max like gangs?

Knock, knock... (5, Funny)

ekran (79740) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727171)

Oh, there are a lot of strange ways this could play out:

[ knock, knock ]
-Do you have the WLAN with the SSID MonkeyTails?
-The what, Sir?
-Wireless Network?
-Oh, for the computer Internet? No, I think ours is called captaincrook.
-Okay, that one is safe.
-Safe?
-Yeah, we are driving around checking for insecure WLANs. Do you know who MonkeyTails are?
-I think it's my neighbour.
-Ok, thank you.
[ knock, knock ]
- Hello.
- Hello, are you the owner of the WLAN MonkeyTails?
- Yes?
- It's insecure.
- I know.
- Well, you should secure it.
- No, I don't want to secure it.
- You should secure it or pedophiles could use it.
- It is an old router that doesn't support encryption.
- Well, let us know if you see any pedophiles.
- Bye.

or.. (1)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727255)

You could come home to find your unsecured router placed in the back seat of your locked car, which you lost the keys to :(

Re:Knock, knock... (4, Funny)

ozbird (127571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727757)

Change your SSID to "DontTazeMeBro" - it's safer that way.

If I did this, I'd be arrested.. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727185)

So when a kid demonstrates he can access his school's network or a customer demonstrates that he can get free calls from a phone system, they will be thrown out of school for 'hacking' or arrested for 'theft of service'. But when the police do it, it's fine?

Whats happening here?

Unsecure WiFi is bad for Police, Bad for ISPs (5, Interesting)

hughk (248126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727203)

It seems that two of the largest organisations hating the sharing of WiFi access are the police, who don't like the fact that unofficial open access points don't log and the ISPs who hate to think that they are losing a potential customer.

Some years back in London, a chain of winebars (C&B) offered free access for their customers with no fancy tumbling time code or anything (you, know where they print a code that has a limited validity on the till receipt).. A story appeared in one of the papers about how people were able to 'steal WiFi access' showing the 'security consultant' with a laptop in the city of London demonstrating that there was open WiFi. Yep, because they are standing directly outside that Winebar (out of shot). I have stood there myself, as the bar was too noisy, so I could use Skype over WiFi to contact my SO. This is fairly common practice now, but it disrupts the business models of people like Vodafone or commercial WiFi providers.

What "risks"??? (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727271)

What risks are they exposing themselves to? Does Australia hold carriers responsible for content? How would a residential open WiFi differ from the free WiFi at a coffee house?

I think I would warn the cops about the "risks" of coming to my home and harassing me...

Re:What "risks"??? (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727395)

In short, nothing more than another place to use to prevent the police from closing in. However I should think that the vast majority of carriers of illegal content would have ability to break encryption anyway - I mean, WEP is obsolete but it is still used. All that's going to stop as a result of this is a small amount of piggybacking.

So really, the wardrive is worse than useless in terms of fighting crime. It will lull most people into a false sense of security, leaving them just as vulnerable to hackers, most carriers, etc as they were before.

Re:What "risks"??? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727659)

And you know it's funny, because an open WiFi router does not mean you are allowing open access to your network, at all. The "risks", it seems, are really that you are more likely to get visited by the police...

Re:What "risks"??? (2, Funny)

ring-eldest (866342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727651)

Don't you know that the evil predators can actually ABDUCT INNOCENT CHILDREN THROUGH UNSECURED WIRELESS? Every time the police shut down an unsecured access point they're literally preventing billions of rapes and murders. The only people who could possibly be against this idea are probably the predators who make torture porn of little girls. God bless these valiant crime fighters who are making the world safe one W.A.P. at a time.

Re:What "risks"??? (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727773)

True, true. However, if this prevents even one rape and/or torture of a little girl, then fuck'n hey. Besides, what's abduction of children (which is cold-stone mind-numbingly serious shit) go to do with unsecured wireless - I don't follow your association of the two?

Re:What "risks"? - being stung by crap ISPs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727707)

What risks are they exposing themselves to? Does Australia hold carriers responsible for content? How would a residential open WiFi differ from the free WiFi at a coffee house?

They run the risk of a huge bill from some of the crap ISPs in Australia.

My parents' had a subscription that gave them a "whopping" 200MB (yes, that's all) per month and after that, they got charged 15c per MB! Suffice to say, anyone with an open wireless router and a crap plan like that could be facing a huge bill.

A waste of Tax Money (3, Informative)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727281)

I understand why the Police are doing this, and I think it is a good move. Yes, I am an Australian, and a QLD'er.

This will let people know who truly do not, and can prevent crimes such as identity theft, downloading illegal stuff etc.

For the record, operating an insecure wifi AP is not illegal, this is just a helpful initiative.

The thing is, it is 2009. For the last 5 years at least, most AP's have security enabled by default, or at least as a mandatory step of the setup.

At the very least, there will be a warning that will be hard to miss.

For the last 5 years or so, information on this has been forthcoming to people who are not overly technical via:

        * TV shows, non technical like 60 minutes or a talk show
        * Magazines, including many of which are non tech magazines
        * Various websites, including many non tech websites, such as MSN
        * Your operating system, such as Windows, OS X or Ubuntu giving you warnings
        * User guides or manuals in very, very, simple to understand language
        * Warning stickers on the box or device
        * Probably quite a few other avenues as well

There is very little reason to not be aware of the risks of running an insecure network. All too often it is a case of stupidity, as people do this for the sake of convenience. Nothing is going to change these peoples minds.

QLD.... (1)

BiGH-Aus (1054268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727331)

I guess not very much is going on in the state of Queensland.....

Re:QLD.... (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727485)

Q: Whats the difference between Queensland and a tub of yogurt?

A: The yogurt has an active culture.

Re:QLD.... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727569)

We locked up a corrupt politician from the same party as the Government up for seven years today in Queensland. Can you imagine that happening in the land of Scooter and Chaney? Having "not much going on" requires a bit of effort and everyone bothering to get off their arse to vote and scaring leaders into honesty.

Back to WiFi, one funny thing is a large number of access points have names along the lines of "f* off" and at least have some attempt at security (can't tell if they are WEP or not from just looking from my phone).

WEP_IS_LIKE_OPEN (5, Informative)

ammorais (1585589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727333)

Does the police specified that people should use WAP and Strong passwords, if they really wanted to protect their networks.

I've moved to a new apartment 3 months ago. My building is in a very dense populated area. Due to bureaucrat issues, I was over one month without an internet connection. Since I had over 25 available wireless networks on my house I gave the http://www.aircrack-ng.org/doku.php?id=tutorial [aircrack-ng.org] aircrack online tutorials a shot. It was amazing how easy it is to crack a WEP connection. On average I took less than 10 minutes to crack a WEP wireless. Over 40% of people(at least around here), still use this totally insecure encryption method.
I've started to get curious about who is Using Wep. So I've made a survey with my laptop, and my phone(it has wireless), to see who is using Wep. I have a HP shop on the other side of the street, that has a big splash symbol on the window "Microsoft Certified". They have IT consultants and they are using WEP. What a joke.
My local Social Security Center is using WEP possibily exposing the entire contry database(it's just a guess. I didn't really crack it). Also WAP is not difficult to crack with weak passwords, and most of the people don't have a clue about strong passwords.
I currently have my network open, only closing when I need full bandwidth, and my SSID is something like WEP_IS_LIKE_OPEN, but in my language.
I guess worst than having an open network is to wrongly think you are secure.

Open on purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727375)

My AP is open on purpose as I was sick of the compatibility issues and the data protection is negligible. You still need to convince the OpenBSD router that you should be using this network, and good luck sniffing the VPN traffic.

What an economy Australia must have. (1)

Badass Coward (1598187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727451)

It sounds like their police departments are over funded. Maybe they can come and unlock cars for people who lock their keys in. Or help configure my neighbor's wireless router so we can all share and save money.

Find people who donate to charity too (3, Interesting)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727571)

People who donate money to charity will lose that money.
People who donate some of their bandwidth to passing surfers probably lose nothing.

Surely the police should be concentrating on the cases where there is a more significant danger of loss.

Good initiative (3, Informative)

fenring (1582541) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727639)

I think it's a good campaign. After all, how much money and time do you think it takes to cover a neighborhood? A couple of officers could probably do this in a few days.
Nobody said it's illegal and they are not constraining anyone to "secure" their AP. It's just like a patrol passes by and they see you are in some kind of trouble. It's their job to stop and ask if you need any assistance. If somebody wants to keep their wireless open, it will probably cost them a couple of minutes to talk to the police and explain their point of view. On the other hand, if someone is unaware that their internet connection could be used by anyone, I think it's pretty much worth it.
And, if anything, it's just a visit from your friendly police officer. They should do it more often.

untolled billions for destructive devices whilst.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727679)

the sprayed on 'atmosphere' dissolves into destructive 'weather'. no question the recipe for doom has been followed to the letter.

as the illusions of security promoted by the greed/fear/ego based minions of man'kind' continue to fail miserably, there'll never be a better (or any) time to consult with your creators, whosoever you perceive them to be.

This is actually badly needed... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727703)

I'm in southern suburbs of brisbane and there are no less than 6 open wifis in my area. All of them have completely default settings, default SSID's and everything. On some of them people have their whole c: driver shared... Usually i print to their printers letting them know, but there are so many I just stopped doing it.

mynuts won, from unreadably 'hidden' to deleted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28727775)

just another step towards your 'reward' robbIE. so long, & gooed luck to you, even though that won't help a bit in how you're remembered/disposed.

Just me? (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 5 years ago | (#28727781)

Australian Police Plan Warp drive Mission

woohoo! finally! ...oh. argh fuckit, dumb ozzies. Oh well, at least they know how to play rugby (even though they suck kangaroo bum at cricket).

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