• SURVEY: 32% of Americans Have Tried to Steal Wi-Fi

    Doesn’t reveal how many were successful, but proves the inherent danger of believing that an IP address accurately identifies the person responsible for an online crime like copyright infringement.

    I’ve come across repeated data over the years proving the vulnerability of Wi-Fi connections to illegal piggybacking by third parties, and yet law enforcement and copyright holders still suffer from the same delusion that an IP address accurately identifies the person responsible for an online crime.

    Back in 2009 UK ISP Talk Talk sent a team of its Internet security experts out to The Highway, a residential road in Stanmore, Middlesex, and within a few hours discovered that more than one-third of the total Wi-Fi connections there were vulnerable to hijacking. They even downloaded a few songs to prove their point.
    It conducted a similar Wi-Fi survey of central Ealing in West London and found that nearly 41% of 1,083 Wi-Fi networks were vulnerable to hijacking and illegal use.
    Now the Wi-Fi Alliance, a “global non-profit trade organization that works to deliver the best possible Wi-Fi connectivity experience,” has released the results of survey conducted on its behalf by Wakefield Research that shows the other side of the coin.

    According to a survey of 1,054 Americans ages 18+, 32% of respondents said they have tried to get on a Wi-Fi network that wasn’t theirs – up 18% from a December 2008 poll.

    Now I haven’t seen any surveys of unprotected Wi-Fi networks in the US, but I’m sure the percentage is probably the same if not lower than the UK.
    “Most consumers know that leaving their Wi-Fi network open is not a good thing, but the reality is that many have not taken the steps to protect themselves,” said Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director for the Wi-Fi Alliance. “Consumers can usually activate Wi-Fi security protections in a few simple steps, but much like the seatbelts in your car, it won’t protect you unless you use it.”
    The real thing Wi-Fi network owners need to worry about is false accusations. Copyright holders, especially in the porn business, have sued nearly 100,000 BitTorrent users since the beginning of 2010, and there appears to be ne letup in sight.

    The sad thing is that copyright holders and law enforcement are convinced that an IP address is a clear and incontestable piece of evidence with which to hold Wi-Fi network owners responsible.

    Source: ZeroPaid
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. usr's Avatar
      usr -
      4 hotels plus a few others around me need better security. One business right beside me has WEP, their employee records are just sitting there, every bit of them....
    1. slocker's Avatar
      slocker -
      In other words up to 68 percent of Americans are liars.
    1. brilman's Avatar
      brilman -
      My metro phone scans for open "hot-spots" aka unlocked wi-fi to act like it runs on a 3g network. On top of that didn't Google have a little problem when they where running around mapping?

      Most people just do the plug and play thing thinking if it works then everything's fine anyway. When I do a install I ask if they want there network locked and most don't, they don't want to deal with remembering a key for there friends stuff.
    1. johhny's Avatar
      johhny -
      who said they succeded