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Wardriving

Wardriving is where people normally drive around with a laptop and scan for open Wi-Fi wireless networks. It is similar to using a scanner for radio. Sometimes wardrivers will use GPS devices to find the exact location of the open network found and log it on a website. For better range, antennas are built, normally out of Pringles[?] cans. The term comes from wardialing which is to dial phone numbers randomly or sequentially to look for data lines, then to try to hack into the computer.

Wardriving is frequently pointed out as an example of questionable activity, but it should be pointed out that, from the point of view of the machines involved, everything is working exactly as designed: a company server is wirelessy advertising its DHCP server, and gladly grants access to any portable computer that asks for it. The problem lies in the fact that the wireless protocol has no way of knowing that the request actually come from just beyond the company borders.

It is possible to lock down a wireless server so that it will not grant access to unknown computers, but this strategy requires a properly organized internal IT service and somewhat reduces the server usefulness.

See also: Warchalking

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