Wardriving revisited

The state of Wireless Security in the UK ( well Nottingham)

I’m always talking about web ubiquity and I’ve been doing some work on this recently for a couple of customers considering HSDPA access as a mobile working solution, the results have been a little disappointing and far short of my expectations but more on that later.

Peter Cochrane is always admitting stealing WiFi talking about using open WiFi access and it’s been a while since I’ve looked at the state of WiFi security.  

I’ve recently discovered WiFifofum2 which is an improvement over my old favourite Ministumbler as it allows you to use your built in WM WiFi  stack and record the location of the Access Points it discovers. a couple of years ago I used to stumble quite a bit to gauge the growth of WiFi and I used to get about 20 APs on the way home.

tonight I did the same stumbling albeit with a different device and software and I found 167 different Access points, a selection from Nottingham below :


in 2005 Security was woefully neglected with the vast majority of APs having no encryption, today….. it’s a bit better but still awful,  of 167 APs found 46 (that’s over 25%) had no encryption whatsoever.

Some Access Points may have had MAC address lists ( I don’t know I deliberately don’t connect) which will deter the casual WiFi thief but it’s still very very worrying.

whilst great for somewhat ethically dubious web ubiquity it’s not good for the AP owners or law enforcement if something nefarious happens. 

I’m off on a long journey tomorrow so I’ll do a bit more stumbling to see if the Notttinghamshire folk are typical or just downright irresponsible.

I’d be interested in other peoples experience

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2 Responses to Wardriving revisited

  1. Guy says:

    I have a journey to Whitby from Nottingham just a few weeks ago, during that time my wife was using my laptop which was also finding networks,

    It logged a massive 352 wireless networks of which 104 were unprotected (again we didnt test MAC address protection / filter)

    Also, still waiting on the E650, I’m not a fan orange right now…. wheres my phone!?!?


  2. fanatical says:

    well Guy it seems it’s not limited to us Notts lads and lasses it seems that the good burghers of Maidenhead are at least as irresponsible ( or generous) with their wifi – at this rate the unscrupulous traveller may never need to make another mobile phone call again or use pay per use wifi whilst supping over priced insipid coffee

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