Tag Archives: WiFi

WiFi-hacking neighbor from hell gets 18 years in prison

Yet another reason to keep your WiFi secured: psycho-nutball neighbors:

Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ WiFi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden.


Ardolf downloaded WiFi hacking software and spent two weeks cracking the Kostolnik’s WEP encryption.

Step 1: Do not use WEP.  It is easy to crack, and there’s plenty of documentation on the subject, as illustrated by the suspect’s library:

The FBI got a search warrant for Ardolf’s house and computer, and found reams of evidence, including copies of data swiped from the Kostolniks’ computer, and hacking manuals with titles such as Cracking WEP Using Backtrack: A Beginner’s Guide, Tutorial: Simple WEP Crack Aircrack-ng, and Cracking WEP with BackTrack 3 – Step by Step instructions. They also found handwritten notes laying out Ardolf’s revenge plans, and a cache of snail mail that Ardolf had apparently stolen from the Kostolniks’ mailbox and stashed under his bed.

Kick your encryption up to WPA2 at least, and use a nice long key with many different types of characters and symbols.

And if you don’t actually have wireless devices in your home, turn off the radio!

via WiFi-hacking neighbor from hell gets 18 years in prison.

End of Privacy: Herding Firesheep in Starbucks

There’s been a lot of talk about Firesheep, a free Firefox extension that collects data broadcast over an unprotected Wi-Fi network without using SSL. You turn it on, and by default it collects cookies for Facebook, Twitter and 24 other sites. Then you can sidejack the account and gain access under the acquired identity.


I thought I’d spread the word and help some laymen out after work. There’s a large Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) near my apartment. I dropped in, bought some unhealthy food, opened my laptop and turned on Firesheep.

Less than one minute later, there were five or six identities sitting in the sidebar. Three of them were from Facebook.

via End of Privacy: Herding Firesheep in Starbucks – Dec. 14, 2010, h/t Schneier.

FBI child porn raid a strong argument for locking down WiFi networks

This sure would be an annoying way to find out:

  1. That your home wireless is insecure, and
  2. That your neighbors are perverts.

The three stories all fall along the same theme: a Buffalo man, Sarasota man, and Syracuse man all found themselves being raided by the FBI or police after their wireless networks were allegedly used to download child pornography. “Youre a creep… just admit it,” one FBI agent was quoted saying to the accused party. In all three cases, the accused ended up getting off the hook after their files were examined and neighbors were found to be responsible for downloading child porn via unsecured WiFi networks.

via FBI child porn raid a strong argument for locking down WiFi networks.