Charged for unauthorized wireless net access

 
^ The Straits Times, 11 November 2006
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Or download the scanned article here.

Teen, 17, first to be charged with unauthorised wireless Net access.

Wow. Charged for unauthorization. (Sarcasm)

This article did not elaborate on what circumstances this teenager was charged with. Which leaves me to ponder…

1. Either the neighbour wanted to be an ass and decided to lodge a complaint against him

2. The kid was downloading illegal stuff (ran share/winny or some p2p program) via his neighbour’s network, and the neighbour received a letter from the RIAS (Recording Industry Association of Singapore) and decided to employ some IT expert to take a look at the logs, monitor the network traffic, found a unknown MAC address, traced it back to the kid and lodged a complaint against him.

3. This was actualy a hoax (JOKING)

We can leave options 1 and 3 out. Which leaves us with option 2.

There are 2 sides to this issue. The former, ‘owners’ of wi-fi networks, and the latter, the ‘users’.

I really do not understand why he has to lodge a complaint against the kid. Unless the kid has been downloading illegial stuff, sure go ahead. But just unauthorized access? Isn’t lodging a complaint going too far? Why waste that money on hiring a lawyer and stuff, when being the owner of the Wi-fi network, access the router’s setting page, set-up WEP, WPA, WPA2 and volia! Network secured (to a certain extent).

There are so many ways in which a wireless network can be secured.

Methods

– Set up WEP, WPA or WPA2
– Change the default access password/username (if applicable)
– Disable SSID Broadcast
– MAC filtering
– Static IP addressing (disable DHCP and manually assign an IP to each pc)

Or even better, disable wireless and stick to UTP cables for connection.

The article mentioned on how many users (wifi-owners) do not seem to realize they can block intruders by setting passwords. And also that in some countries, like Holland, Wi-fi network owners can even be held liable by the courts for crimes commited their unprotected networks. That’s what you get for leaving your network open. :p

ASSUMPTION, the everyday used state of mind. Assume and it makes an ass out of you and me.

Many people do not take the time to read the manual even, comprimising their own network security, assuming that it would not be accessed by an unauthorized person. I remember doing a mini-project of my own last year, scanning the number of unsecured wireless networks available near my estate. To my horror, many were unsecured and what’s worst is that they were using the default SSID.

Owners, do your part by securing your wireless networks if you do not want unauthorized access. Instead of bitching “Hey! ‘Insert name here’ accessed my network without my permission”, secure it first! Prevention is better than cure. A quick search on the net and you can find guides on securing your network.

 

On the other hand, I believe the ‘users’ do have to understand the dire conseqeunces of accessing a network you’re unauthorized to do so. You got yourself into this shit, now clear it up yourself and face judgement. It is your own maturity. Cause and effect. Do not expect someone to clean up your mistakes.

Of course, there are methods to cover your tracks, but lets not mention it here :)

Always remember,

4 thoughts on “Charged for unauthorized wireless net access”

  1. The 1st time I got my internet up and running here, my neighbour finished my quota for me in 3 days, which left me with a full 27 days of 64kb speed when my price I am paying for is for an ADSL2 network.

    Pissed? You bet I was, and I even called my provider to trace the unauthorised MAC address to sue the person. However, this is Melbourne we are talking about, where everything slows to a crawl.

    I am now 2 years into my subscription and they still can’t determine the MAC Address. =.=

  2. If it’s your network, secure it. Don’t be a n00b and then complain that someone took advantage of your stupidity.

    Then again theft is not a good thing.

  3. Nice post. Was pondering about that also. From what I see, it’s like leaving your door unlocked (refering to the unsecured network), and someone walking through it (the user). Who’s wrong?

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