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Re: Interesting Ruling Regarding WiFi access
From: "David M. Zendzian" <dmz () dmzs com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2007 13:35:43 -0400

There was a little point you did miss :)

First, the network was "Open" and free for use for the business' Customers. So they have no security enabled to allow their customers free access to the wifi.

Second, wireless isn't like a store door. It goes beyond the door, and out into the street. My cell phone is set to automatically connect to any wifi network it sees and attempts to sync email. I didn't set this up, it's a "feature" of windows mobile and the only way to prevent it is to disable wireless, which is not practical for business use of the device.

I know he was sitting in his car actually using the network (unlike my automatic connection via cell phone). However I keep seeing this reference to knocking on the door of buildings when referring to wireless. The day that we can define a perimeter to wireless and have it stop and have a virtual "door" then we can use this analogy. Until then, wireless goes lots of places it's not suppose to, and most devices automatically connect to the highest signal connection they see. As for using it, yes that's like walking into the store. You know you are using it and have no way out of saying you weren't. But the connection and association of wireless is nothing like knocking on the front door of something. :)

David

Serg B. wrote:
Perhaps I am missing the point here, but... An individual should
simply not utilise a network that does not belong to them unless they
have been allowed to do so.

I tend to equate it to something like walking down the street and
checking if each house/apartment has an open door. If I find an open
door I will walk into the house and start using homeowners things
without their permission.

Of course the network owner could (and should) implement some sort of
safety guards. However the person attempting to connect to the network
must understand that this network does not belong to them and
therefore they must make sure that they are allowed to use it or not.


  Serg


On 04/06/07, stonewall <stonewall () cavtel net> wrote:
Would it be hard for manufacturers to implement in the AP's
software a logon banner when you try to "connect" your XP
box to the AP (of course not)?  "This wireless network and
Internet access are the property of Blah Blah's coffee shop,
and are for the use of our on-premises customers only.  Any
other use is unauthorized and is subject to legal sanction"
(or some other suitable legal mumbo-jumbo).  I thought there
was a consensus of sorts that such notification was more or
less considered "good practice", passed the "reasonable man"
test, and was a de facto standard.

Recall, it wasn't that long ago that XP was configured BY
DEFAULT to connect automatically to the strongest wireless
signal it could find.  That being said, it is no more stupid
to run an open access point than it is to connect to someone
else's without authorization.  The trouble is, the only ones
who know this are folks in this business.  The general
public has no clue.  Arresting someone for this is
horsecrap.

stonewall

-----Original Message-----
From: listbounce () securityfocus com [mailto:listbounce () securityfocus com] On
Behalf Of Thor (Hammer of God)
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:21 PM
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Re: Interesting Ruling Regarding WiFi access

Or just have the SSID start with "PUBLIC" or "PRIVATE" or use the same
nomenclature for the router name.  Or dictate that broadcast SSID's are
public, and hidden SSID's are private.

If it is going to be "law" then it needs to be simple enough for people to understand. Ideally, the wifi router manufactures would build in a tag for "private" or "public" and build the selection into the setup wizard. Hell,
that option could even drive market share.

t

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenneth Klinzman" <kklinzman () tektegrity com>
To: <pen-test () securityfocus com>
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 11:17 AM
Subject: RE: Interesting Ruling Regarding WiFi access


Very nice find!

My office co-horts and I were having the same kind of discussion.  It
seems like all it would take is a banner in the coffie shop saying
internet to customers only would be all it takes to make the argument
valid that they are informed. However, it is not like wireless stops at
the walls of the coffee shop like cabled connections would.  So to know
it was for customers only would take the offender to have entered the
shop and seen the sign.  Maybe some kind of portal page should be
required detailing the terms of use for wireless that users receive when
they first log in to the wireless.  Either way the legality of using a
internet connection that does not belong to you and you know nothing
about is very grey area...  Those of us who are mostly law abiding would
just assume it was wrong to do.

-----Original Message-----
From: listbounce () securityfocus com [mailto:listbounce () securityfocus com]
On Behalf Of Jeffory Atkinson
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:19 AM
To: ebk_lists () hotmail com; pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Interesting Ruling Regarding WiFi access

Nice find,
Really make you think. Using free wireless is illegal but not if there
is a message saying public then it is not. Maybe I am not seeing the
whole picture but I believe the burden of notification is on the
owner/access point. This is the case in most states. Using the articles
example of a radar detector, if you travel in to the state of Virginia
you will clearly see the burden of notification in black and white on
sign stating they are illegal.

I am curious to here other thoughts.

JMA

-----Original Message-----
From: listbounce () securityfocus com [mailto:listbounce () securityfocus com]
On Behalf Of ebk_lists () hotmail com
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 12:43 PM
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Interesting Ruling Regarding WiFi access

Given all of the discussion regarding wifi access and the legalities
surrounding it, I found this interesting:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276720,00.html

While I find the ruling in this circumstance a bit extreme, I think that
it is good that we are now getting some case law to back up what has
been up to this point mere speculation on what *may* happen in a court.

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