Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Wireless Networking Australia It's funny.  Laugh. Networking

Auto-Scanning the Names People Choose For Their Wireless APs 422

Posted by timothy
from the just-name-them-all-hidden dept.
MichaelSmith writes "I code on the tram, going to and from work, and I noticed that there are a lot of WiFi access points along the way. So one week I made it my job to write an automatic scanner which runs from a cron job every minute during commuting times. My backup script pushes the new AP names to my web server and you can read it online. It is a mixture of the straightforward, naive and funny, with a few pop culture references along the way. The first column in the file is the number of access points with that name. The second column is the AP name, in brackets to pick up white space." Why can't "Dress Me Slowly" and "Domestic Bliss" just share an AP?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Auto-Scanning the Names People Choose For Their Wireless APs

Comments Filter:
  • Best SSID (Score:5, Funny)

    by thewils (463314) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:18PM (#31553658) Journal

    The SSID I use is "Honeypot"

    • Re:Best SSID (Score:5, Informative)

      by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@jwsm[ ]e.com ['yth' in gap]> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:26PM (#31553718) Homepage Journal

          I used to leave mine unencrypted, and change the name occasionally, calling it "BankOfAmerica", "FirstBankOf[mycity]", "FBI", "NSA", "CovertOps4", etc. I was very disappointed that I didn't have people trying to do nefarious things.

          Now I just call it "unreachable", and encrypted, which seems to have the same result. Ok, that's a lie, but I'm not going to post my real SSID here. :)

          I really appreciate all the folks with the Verizon DSL/FiOS routers with the 5 character SSID's, since those are easily crackable. They're nicer than the unencrypted ones, since I'm not competing with other users for the line. :)

          My last drive got over 2,000 in about 20 miles. Most were totally boring, and like 25% were unencrypted.

      • should had it set to Linksys, netgear or other defaults. They you may of seen more hacks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fm6 (162816)

        Ok, that's a lie, but I'm not going to post my real SSID here. :)

        Why not? Knowing your SSID doesn't help anybody guess your paraphrase.

        BTW, who's your favorite porn star?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Again (1351325)
      I use CIASecretSatellite.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I named mine "GOATSE", no password, no encryption, but unauthorized connections get redirected automatically... They can't say they weren't warned.

    • by bertoelcon (1557907) * <berto.el.con@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @09:15PM (#31554046)
      I use "GetOffMyLawn". It is very fitting for having a large enough yard that you can't see it without being on the lawn or in the house.
    • by tagno25 (1518033)
      Mine is "Private2.4", "Private5.8", and the FON is "FON_FREE_INTERNET"
    • by AmigaHeretic (991368) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @10:20PM (#31554460) Journal
      I got rid of of passwords, WPA,WPA2,WEP or whatever crap and just changed my SSID to "$5.99 per minute".

      I check the logs and have never seen a single person connect to my router.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Bob9113 (14996)

        HAHAHA -- awesome. Best social hack I've heard in quite a while. Well played, and thanks for the giggle. :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Inda (580031)

        Mine says "£0.99 an hour! First hour free! Unlimited downloads!"

        People are happy giving up their credit card numbers, but probably not happy with the zero service.

        Don't connect to wireless networks you don't own.

    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @10:55PM (#31554658) Homepage
      Mine is called "NotForYou!".... and then is unsecured. I like to be generous to those who don't do as they're told
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fatbuttlarry (1347443)
      Mine's called "Linksys" and the password is "1234", but there must be a problem because it always lists two of them and some times I make changes and it doesn't save.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ajs (35943)

      So it seems that someone wanted to survey the names people use for wireless access points, but was too lazy to do the research, so they put up a Web site with some fake data and posted to Slashdot in the hopes that everyone would post their clever names as comments.

      Guess it worked... ;-)

  • MY_NETWORK (Score:3, Funny)

    by dangitman (862676) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:20PM (#31553670)

    My backup script pushes the new AP names to my web server and you can read it on line.

    You're not hosting your page via one of those access points, are you? I think it just melted.

  • already (Score:4, Insightful)

    by adairw (1338775) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:20PM (#31553672)
    slashdotted
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:20PM (#31553674)
    MichaelSmith /.s his own server.
  • by AccUser (191555) <[ku.oc.esoat] [ta] [ghm]> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:20PM (#31553676) Homepage

    My favourite is the tie fighter: ]-o-[

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I live in a pretty nice little suburb. Full of old people, business owners, and people who generally don't know how shit works., So, all the APs are default except for two. One is "grandma's house", and the other is "midget sex".

    I really want to find out who named theirs midget sex.

  • by RayMarron (657336) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:27PM (#31553724) Homepage

    Sa-Matra

  • Why. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:32PM (#31553754)
    There are a lot of "cute" AP names around, but mine is what the thing came with. The extent of my interest in that equipment is knowing I've properly secured it, and occasionally looking at the access logs. Beyond that I don't care. I've already thought about it way too much today.
    • Re:Why. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:53PM (#31553922)

      Besides the fact that assuming someone such as yourself uses WPA/WPA2 PSK, the SSID is seeded with the hash and by using the default one, you leave yourself open to the likes of rainbow table attacks - http://www.renderlab.net/projects/WPA-tables/

    • Re:Why. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Planesdragon (210349) <{slashdot} {at} {castlesteelstone.us}> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @10:05PM (#31554374) Homepage Journal

      There are a lot of "cute" AP names around, but mine is what the thing came with. The extent of my interest in that equipment is knowing I've properly secured it

      Re-naming an SSID away from stock is part of properly securing it. Unless you're far enough away from your neighbors that your equipment never sees their access points, having a distinct name is part of ensuring that any client you want on your network properly connects to your network, and doesn't occasionally drop to another network (either through software bug or user error.)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I made my neighbors mad when I started naming my SSIDs with things like STFU, ByteMe and the ever popular F*Off. Somehow they always knew it was me though.

    For a long time I then stopped broadcasting my SSIDs but now I have them broadcasting but changing every few months.

  • by Rix (54095) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:33PM (#31553760)

    What'd he ever do to you?

  • answer. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:47PM (#31553866)

    "dress me slowly" is a retro clothing store on Nicholson St in Fitzroy. The tram route is therefore route 96 in Melbourne Australia..

    What? This wasn't one me those tram spotters quizzes?

  • by scum-o (3946) <bigwebb&gmail,com> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @08:49PM (#31553888) Homepage Journal

    Doesnt' netstumbler already do this?

  • When I lived in Reno, there was an access point near my apartment named FBIOPS. Either someone was in trouble or someone has a great sense of humor. Really, who is gonna try to hack that one?

  • Slashdotted.
  • Why don't you also check the box to not broadcast the SSID?

    I know it doesn't really buy much security, but still. I have never broadcasted my SSID. If you need to know it, I'll tell you, and add you to the list of allowed MAC addresses (again, I know, not totally secure, but still... another hoop to jump thru.)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 20, 2010 @09:25PM (#31554136)

      Hiding the SSID decreases your security. When the access point broadcasts the SSID, the clients passively listen for it when they're not in range. When the SSID is hidden, clients broadcast the SSID in search of the wireless LAN wherever they are. This tells attackers about your laptop. There's even a ready-made attack tool for this: the "JaSager" (an implementation of "Karma") will listen for the probe requests and pretend to be your access point. If your WLAN is encrypted, you won't fall into that trap, but anyone who uses MAC address filters and hidden SSID as the only access control mechanisms is instantly MITMd. Even if you can avoid fake access points, your laptop still leaks your SSID and any information that may give (your name? your address? an obscenity?). Don't turn off SSID broadcasts.

  • Why use cron? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @09:18PM (#31554064)
    You're missing out on a lot of SSIDs if you're only scanning once a minute. A simple "while true; do iwlist $options >> script1.txt; done" in a few scripts started a second or two apart will help catch more. Maybe set up a cron job to cat and sort -u them together occasionally.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vrmlguy (120854)

      You're missing out on a lot of SSIDs if you're only scanning once a minute. A simple "while true; do iwlist $options >> script1.txt; done" in a few scripts started a second or two apart will help catch more. Maybe set up a cron job to cat and sort -u them together occasionally.

      This is the tram! It doesn't take a different route every day. Just repeat the scan for a few weeks, you'll slowly fill in the gaps.

  • Why do people post their own stuff here, knowing that their site will crash and burn within seconds? Both of the links are dead. Both!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Why do people post their own stuff here, knowing that their site will crash and burn within seconds? Both of the links are dead. Both!

      Free load testing. Seriously you would pay someone to do that ;)

  • Anyway, where are the GPS coordinates?

  • Australia? (Score:5, Funny)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @11:10PM (#31554742)
    I'm surprised all the SSIDs aren't "Bruce".
  • by Jeffrey_Walsh VA (1335967) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @11:47PM (#31554920)
    I leave an AP open using my street number as SSID. Its outside my firewall and bandwidth is throttled to 15% of my 15/25 Fios. I check the logs sometimes. Its usually someone who came out on a service call, probably logging the job and gettting directions to the next gig. I saw repeated connections once so I blocked the mac address. Shortly after, my close freinds next door noted to me that thier wireless stopped working. I went over and set up their Fios router for wireless.

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries

Working...