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Reverse Wardriving: Tracking Apple and Google Commuter Buses by Their Wi-Fi Clouds
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:01:17 +0000 (UTC)


By Kevin Poulsen
Threat Level

Silicon Valley shuttle buses have become a symbol of San Francisco’s gentrification anxiety -- Facebook, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo, and most famously Google all have their own private bus lines shuttling workers in and out of the city, hiding them behind tinted glass and bathing them in free Wi-Fi so the riders can have a productive commute.

My home happens to be placed along one of Apple’s commuter bus lines, and the giant, silver buses have long felt like a constant presence on the residential street, powering up and down the hill, plowing past my window, honking a polite warning as they pass while I double-park to unload groceries. Apple workers have seen me in pajamas, stepping outside to get the paper or throw a dirty diaper in the trash. They’ve seen me chasing my kids into the car for the morning for the ride to school. In the evening the Apple Bus sometimes sees me waiting in my car for it to pass, so I can open the door without losing it to the bus’s grill.

Last week, it occurred to me that I might start monitoring the local Wi-Fi environment to determine how often the Apple Bus really comes by. My wife guessed 10 times a day. I’d have said 20.

After a week of reverse-wardriving, it appears the Apple Bus passes my house an average of 36 times a day, and is uncannily punctual, especially in the a.m., when the first bus reliably pops up on my Wi-Fi radar between 6:23:33 and 6:23:56 every morning.


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