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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

WarDriving, What Is It A Good For? Unusual Applications in GeoPlotting

WiFi SecurityWarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend, A Guide to Wireless Security[With apologies to Barret Strong, Norman Whitfield, Edwin Starr, authors of the song "War, What Is It Good For?"]

Several weeks back, I was in a friend's car trying out my new, long-range wi-fi antenna for my laptop. We were planning to have dinner together, but it was early and E wanted to go for a drive. Still obsessed with my, then, new toy, I wanted to see how far it could pick up wi-fi network signals. E drove around in a loop of about 5 kilometres in diameter. In that time I picked up nearly 23 networks, the bulk of which had no security. The surprising thing was that many of the unsecured networks I picked up were part of professional organizations, school boards, and stores. I picked up one police network, but it was secured. I thought about trying to actually connect to some of the unsecured networks to see if they'd secured at a later stage, but E didn't stop the car long enough for me to bother. [Some networks, while appearing unsecured, don't actually allow you to get in without logging in with username and password on an internal web page. Organizations such as universities use this security model for their wi-fi networks.]

Now while I knew that my activity was nothing I'd invented, I didn't realize that there's a name for it. It's called WarDriving or WiLDing. The activity is sometimes supplemented by using a GPS device to geo-locate each "public" network. The latitude/ longitude coordinates of the locations are then published either privately or publicly on special web pages.

Reader Note: The images in this post are affiliate links created using Zoundry Blog Writer software. As I do not live in the United States and thus do not qualify for their Zoundry Service, I do not earn any commissions if you purchase any of the items shown here. However, Zoundry will earn the commissions, which is fine by me, in support for their great blogging software.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://geoplotting.blogspot.com

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GeoPlotting Journal

This weblog/journal deals with a variety of topics relating to geographical data, as well as GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software and GPS devices. Posting is currently suspended, until a new version of this journal has been developed.

About Me
I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ photographer/ web programmer/ consultant/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. I worked with GIS systems and cartographic projections for seven years. I've had a love of maps and globes ever since my father gave me an atlas when I was in grade school. This is one of several blogs that I write.

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(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://geoplotting.blogspot.com/