Aussie Police To 'War-Drive' For Insecure WiFi In Homes, Businesses

Queensland authorities reportedly launch awareness program to find and warn users with vulnerable wireless networks

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

July 22, 2009

1 Min Read

Police in Australia are trying to get one step ahead of cybercriminals by war-driving around neighborhoods to sniff out insecure WiFi networks in homes and businesses.

According to published reports, the Queensland Police plans to dispatch officers in squad cars to sniff out insecure and open WLANs. More specifically, the department will select specific geographic areas where police will scan for unprotected WiFi networks, alert their users, and provide them with measures for locking down their WiFi, as well as raise public awareness of the threats. Officials say bad guys are sharing satellite maps of areas with unsecured wireless networks that can be exploited.

Brian Hay, detective superintendent of the Queensland Police, reportedly told attendees of a McAfee summit in Sydney about the program. "It is a simple campaign, much like past police campaigns in which officers walk around a railway station checking cars have been locked. If you leave your car unlocked, you come back and find a note from the police warning you of the dangers involved with leaving your car unsecured," Hay said in an interview with iTnews in Australia.

Attackers can easily war-drive for, and then piggyback off of, WiFi networks that use default passwords or that don't activate encryption or other security measures.

"It's not about catching the bad guys as much as limiting their area of operations," Hay told the news site.

Queensland Police could team up with some corporate partners in the war-driving operations, according to the report.

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Dark Reading Staff

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