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Re: Legality of WEP Cracking
From: Chris Travers <chris () metatrontech com>
Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 00:29:35 -0700

Hi Richard;

Pen testing without permission is dangerous. I would advise against it both from a marketing an a legal perspective (IANAL).

Marketing: What you are proposing stinks like a protection racket. I know that is not your intent, but that is what a customer is going to think. Wardriving, looking for WEP connections may be OK from this perspective provided that you don't do any further action (like key cracking). I would also say that you may be able to get further permission to demo the problems, and then it would be OK first. (Just ask first ;-) )

Legal (IANAL): Whenever you crack anything without permission you may be argued to be tresspassing. This may mean that you have to plead your case in court right or wrong. If you want a legal opinion, however, I would suggest hiring an attourney.

Be careful, contact an attourney, and also run mock sales pitches by others who are not technically savvy to see how they respond.

I am leaving the original email below as a point of reference to the proposal I am warning about.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

Richard Brinson wrote:
During an internal business development meeting yesterday we were discussing
new ways of picking up pen testing clients. One of our junior engineers
suggested that we go war driving, crack some WEP keys and then approach each
company offering services to make them more secure. The idea was put down
straight away on the basis that without prior approval we would be breaking
the law. However, upon further discussion a case was made that (moral issues
aside) provided we only captured traffic passively, and as long as we did
not try to connect or send any packets to any devices - would the law be
broken? Does the law state anywhere that we can not analyse air traffic that is
broadcast into the public domain? (if so surely we would all be breaking the
law every time we picked up a network other than our own) and is it against
the law to know someone else's WEP key when they have not made that
information available to you?
What are your thoughts on this? Kind regards, Richard Brinson
Kanoo Ltd
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