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Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving 110

Posted by timothy
from the wifi-password-|"pl[\'as[cnp dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Security researcher Gene Bransfield, with the help of his wife's grandmother's cat, decided to see how many neighborhood WiFi access points he could map and potentially compromise. With a collar loaded with a Spark chip, a Wi-Fi module, a GPS module, and a battery, Coco the cat helped Gene identify Wi-Fi networks around the neighborhood and then reported back. The goal here is obvious: Discover all of the unsecured, or at least poorly-secured, wireless access points around the neighborhood. During his journey, Coco identified dozens of Wi-Fi networks, with four of them using easily-broken WEP security, and another four that had no security at all. Gene has dubbed his collar the "WarKitteh", and it cost him less than $100 to make. He admits that such a collar isn't a security threat, but more of a goofy hack. Of course, it could be used for shadier purposes." (Here's Wired's article on the connected cat-collar.)
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Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving

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  • Open WiFi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @06:04PM (#47643753) Journal

    If people just left their WiFi open, it wouldn't be called a vulnerability, it would be called ubiquitous connectivity.

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @06:15PM (#47643815)

    Just because a lock is weak doesn't give you the right to break it and enter the place. That argument wouldn't stand in court for physical access, stop deluding yourself that you have the "right" to access WEP-secured networks.

  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @06:42PM (#47643917)

    The goal here is obvious: Discover all of the unsecured, or at least poorly-secured, wireless access points around the neighborhood.

    Here's what has to be asked...why? Any particular reason for wanting to know this?

    Isn't that pretty much like going to all the front doors and checking to see if they are locked?

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @06:52PM (#47643967)

    Cats can wander around without arousing much suspicion. In residential areas, that includes going into front and back yards. In commercial areas, that includes going into secured lots. In that respect, cats would be able to perform better. Of course, that leaves the issue of getting cats to explore areas that you're interested in in the first place.

  • Re:Open WiFi (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 10, 2014 @08:56PM (#47644489)

    How hilarious.

    Open Wireless points are a security threat. Fullstop. Tor is a security threat, and you are not innocent by leaving open wireless points or Tor nodes. All it does is say you have something to hide, abut are choosing to hide in plain sight.

    A mesh network of open wireless point that has -NO- direct internet access is a better concept. Sure you're not going to get half a megabit or low latency, but it solves the question of how to hide in plain sight. All leaving open access points does is let pirates and pedophiles drown the access node until whoever is providing the access gets subpoena'd or the ISP cuts it off for other abuse reasons like spam.

    If you've ever used the open WiFi at Starbucks or McDonalds you'd notice that the connection capacity is not very high, and you usually can't access SMTP or Youtube.

  • by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Monday August 11, 2014 @12:53AM (#47645087) Homepage Journal

    When someone uses your connection excessively in the opinion of your ISP, watch "an choice" become "an bill". Or when someone uses your connection for copyright infringement or child pornography, watch "an choice" become "an lawsuit" or "an criminal charge".

    When someone does the same over your secured connection, either because you shared your password with the wrong friends, someone guessed your password, or you got hacked, good luck explaining to a jury that it's possible for others to use your secured connection.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phics (934282) on Monday August 11, 2014 @01:53AM (#47645203)

    It's kind of like giving the Coke machine down the hall an IP address with sensors.... 'why' becomes such an unimaginative and mundane question in such scenarios, and if pressed, can simply be answered with, "Because I can."

  • by Sobrique (543255) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:41AM (#47645793) Homepage
    Secure sites will get upset if you drive a car through them. Cats they're much less likely to make a fuss about...

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