Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Two cautioned over wireless Internet "piggy-backing"


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Retired Tech

Retired Tech

    Retired Staff

  • Retired Staff
  • 20,563 posts
LONDON - Two people have been arrested and cautioned for using someone else's wireless Internet connection without permission, known as "piggy-backing", police said on Wednesday.

The practice, which sharply divides Internet users, has been fuelled by the rapid growth of fast wireless broadband in homes and people's failure to secure their networks.

On Saturday, a man was arrested after neighbours spotted him sitting in a car outside a home in Redditch, Worcestershire, using a laptop computer to browse the Internet.

A 29-year-old woman was also arrested in a car in a similar incident in the same area last month.

Both received an official caution, a formal warning one step short of prosecution, for "dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services with intent to avoid payment".

They were among the first to be arrested for piggy-backing in Britain

http://uk.news.yahoo...ss-fa6b408.html
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
pip22

pip22

    Trusted Tech

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,663 posts
Thanks for that Keith. However, I believe it would have been more useful if you briefly highlighted how easy it is to avoid having one's wireless connection being used in this way.
  • 0

#3
Guest_jwinathome_*

Guest_jwinathome_*
  • Guest
If this is such a big deal, why doesn't the government get involved (which they inevitably will) and MAKE the Access Point manufacturers remove the capability of creating an unsecured network.

This is extremely stupid to me. The person is simply sitting somewhere with a laptop that is accepting a signal. At most they should be busted for loitering, but nothing else.

Its like me getting arrested for having a pair of rabbit ears that pick up the...FREE television waves. Last time I checked, nobody OWNS the Internet.
  • 0

#4
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

Its like me getting arrested for having a pair of rabbit ears that pick up the...FREE television waves. Last time I checked, nobody OWNS the Internet.

this is completely different...the channels you pick up on "rabit ears" ARE free channels...they're the basic local chanels and are now and have always been offered for free...if it were illegal, or NOT FREE they wouldn't spend the money on the transmission equipment used to transmit these chanels

someone parking in your yard accessing your internet connection is the same as someone stealing your cable by running wires into your house....the person in the house "OWNS" the internet connection...NOT the internet...the person in the car isn't stealling the internet...they're stealing a service that someone is paying for
  • 0

#5
Guest_jwinathome_*

Guest_jwinathome_*
  • Guest
Fair enough.

I disagree however that it is like stealing cable. This is a signal being broadcast that is not being regulated.
  • 0

#6
Retired Tech

Retired Tech

    Retired Staff

  • Topic Starter
  • Retired Staff
  • 20,563 posts

Thanks for that Keith. However, I believe it would have been more useful if you briefly highlighted how easy it is to avoid having one's wireless connection being used in this way.



OK, as long as I don't have to call round to do the adjustments

http://www.digitalgr...ss_network.html
  • 0

#7
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

I disagree however that it is like stealing cable. This is a signal being broadcast that is not being regulated

it's exactly like stealing cable....i'm paying for my internet connection....if you stand outside and access that connection wirelessly...it's the same as you walking into my house and plulgging into my modem...you didn't pay for the service...and you didn't ask for permission (and no permission was implied or stated) to connect to my network....sure...i should have secured it...but if i didn't...that doesn't make accessing the network not stealing

just because the information is traveling through the air instead of a wire doesn't mean what it's connecting to is free and open for anyone to use
  • 0

#8
Guest_jwinathome_*

Guest_jwinathome_*
  • Guest
I digress. However, I suppose the reason I have to argue is because I have not paid for Internet access for over a year now in my current apartment. We live back to back with another complex, and the other apt. complex has a WAP (quite strong actually) that I have picked up for the year. It is unsecured and offered as a complimentary service.

Being reasonable and not liking to do anything wrong, I went and spoke with the property owner and got her take on it. She had absolutely no problem with it at all. Now, even though I got permission, what if others are tapping into the same AP and do not have permission, is this still wrong?

I suppose this is an interesting topic, and like you all, I prefer people secure their networks. I have set up a many and love to show people how to do it (4 in my apartment complex) and they are always amazed.

I suppose the question arises, how do you propose this problem be resolved? (Other than just people securing their network.) Is there a solution at the manufacturing level? ISP level? I am curious.
  • 0

#9
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

Being reasonable and not liking to do anything wrong, I went and spoke with the property owner and got her take on it. She had absolutely no problem with it at all. Now, even though I got permission, what if others are tapping into the same AP and do not have permission, is this still wrong?

if you got written permission from the owner of the AP...then you'd be in the clear (theoretically)...
if i go to the bank...and they left the safe door open...can i go in and take a bag of cash?

the easiest, most effictive way to completely stop this would be for the ISP to require a software install on the system that would authenticate each PC on your network to their servers....then no one could drive by and get on the internet because they wouldn't have the proper authentication from the ISP...however this would probably open the door for ISPs being able to charge PER PC on a broadband connection
  • 0

#10
glen_m_32

glen_m_32

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 255 posts
That is a very good point Dsenett, no1 would want to pay per PC, i would have to pay for 7 connections!

my girlfriends brother was found to be piggybacking on the nextdoor neighbours connection, not doing anythign bad, but just surfing, he didn't actually realise he was doing it, his laptop just connected to it because it was slightly stronger signal. once i found out i went round and offered to secure it for them, which they accepted because they didn't know about it.

i think its a case where the Router providers should offer a system to secure or alot more information about securing when you actually buy the router itself!
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
Guest_jwinathome_*

Guest_jwinathome_*
  • Guest
Why cant they have an installation wizard that presents them with options like:

1) Home User
2) Corporate User
3) Internet Cafe (or free access point)

Something along those lines, and if the user chooses "home user" the wizard would guide them through the encryption process.
  • 0

#12
LiaoGoren

LiaoGoren

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 261 posts
I dont get it, whats the big deal with someone else useing your wireless connection. YOu have paid for it yes, but if they are not impeding or causeing you problems whats the big deal?

I am a big gamer, I have a linksys and even a signal booster so I can be at my friends house next door and we cau use my connection. I have checked it several times and found out that a few other people around me are also useing it. It does not bother me, I have no noticed any lag or other connection problems. I have my passwords changed and can and will turn the security on if I do notice a problem.

As long as I have my firewalls up on my computer, it will take a person of some intelgence to do anything to my computer. If I have 10 people pigggy-backing on my signal and someone hacks them it aint my fault, its theirs for not setting up security.

I just say as long as you are not harming me or causeing me any problems... have at it. If my ISP has a problem with it, well I dont know what to tell them :whistling:

I am not trying to steal anything or put anyone out of business, just have fun and let others around me enjoy the use of the internet who may not be able to afford the bill. I know there was a point in my life where I had a laptop and could not afford to pay the cable bill, so I was without internet. So I know how it goes and know what its like to be in that position.

My point it, let them be... its ok with me!
  • 0

#13
SpaceCowboy706

SpaceCowboy706

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,175 posts
Hopefully someday it will be illegal in America, as it appears to now be, in Britain.

Just out of curiosity if i leave the front door to my house unlocked and someone comes in and decides to eat all my food, drink all my beer, sit on my couch and watch my tv.... have the committed the act of breaking and entering?

Yes...... and if caught they will go to jail or face some sort of criminal punishment.

Here is Websters definition of theft - The taking, or attempted taking, of anything of value from one person by another.

So does your neighbors Internet have value - Yes - He is paying for it and you are not....


So you.... who take without paying are STEALING and you are a THIEF, plain and simple..... You can attempt to argue theories all day long and wine about this and that, but the bottom line is that you are taking what is not yours from someone else. Someday, hopefully, our lawmakers in America will get off thier lazy asses and pass a law for it and all the other maggot thiefs out there will have to start paying for thier service like the rest of us.
  • 0

#14
LiaoGoren

LiaoGoren

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 261 posts
Again I point out, whats the difference between IHOP (or a hotel or other free wireless connection) and Someones unsecured connection at home. Yes you pay for it, but a wireless signal broadcast is free game, the ISP is getting their money, and you can only use so much bandwith. If it was a real problem the ISP's would have done something about it so they can get money, cause you know they will rape you for every dime they can.

Since ISP's, who provide the bandwith and service, have no problem how many computers or how much is used dont care, why should anyone else?

I myself use COX Cable service, after reading a few threads like this one on several sites, I gave them a little call. According to them, haveing a wireless router in your home is perfactly fine and they have no problem with it. I even suggested that other people that live close to me are useing it and again they said as long as I am fine with them "piggy-backing" on my signal. They are fine with it, cause they are reciveing payment for service and I am not useing it for business with excessive bandwith useage.

From where I am sitting, some Tom, Dick, or Harry has a wireless reciver and just happens to live close enough to a signal (weither my house, your house, a motel, resturant or anything!) so he can get online, then use it. I see no theft from useing a signal that is there and not regulated like cell phones, TV, Radio's.

Again I dont want to start a fight, I guess we should just agree to disagree :blink:

If you have a problem with people useing your signal then just setup security. I agree that in the setup process there should be a pop-up window or something like that, that will inform you of the danger of leaveing it unsecured, as well as the benifits of leaveing it like that... (Neighbors that like you more :whistling:)

Thats my 2 cents no one ask for!
  • 0

#15
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP

Again I point out, whats the difference between IHOP (or a hotel or other free wireless connection) and Someones unsecured connection at home. Yes you pay for it, but a wireless signal broadcast is free game, the ISP is getting their money, and you can only use so much bandwith. If it was a real problem the ISP's would have done something about it so they can get money, cause you know they will rape you for every dime they can.

IHOP, Starbucks, and any hotel have entered into a specific agreement with the ISP that states that they are offereing service to the public....and i would bet you that they're not paying the same price you are at the house

Since ISP's, who provide the bandwith and service, have no problem how many computers or how much is used dont care, why should anyone else?

SOME (alot more now than before) ISPs DO in fact care...there are some that specificallly state IN THE CONTRACT that sharing your internet connection freely is agaisnt their rules


I myself use COX Cable service, after reading a few threads like this one on several sites, I gave them a little call. According to them, haveing a wireless router in your home is perfactly fine and they have no problem with it. I even suggested that other people that live close to me are useing it and again they said as long as I am fine with them "piggy-backing" on my signal. They are fine with it, cause they are reciveing payment for service and I am not useing it for business with excessive bandwith useage.

there's a good chance that COX doesn't care....or...more likely from my dealings with COX communications...that the guy on the other end of the phone has no idea what he's talking about as far as ACTUAL COX policy
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP