How to steal neighbor's signal?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by roger, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. may well have done, or are using Linux and OpenOffice instead :)
    (or XP and OO in my case).
    one wonders how much of this is intent and how much is lack of
    competence. My mate in ND gave a neighbo(u)r access but issued him
    with a WEP key - its not just us Brits.
    some folks are on GB/month limits or pay per GB deals and may want to
    restrict the use by others. Others want full use of what's theirs and
    not to be slowed to a crawl by a leecher next door. They don't want
    the ISP on their case for doing bad stuff either - we are the zombie
    PC capital of the world.

    Where I am the houses are too far apart to bother about this kind of
    thing. The 10 element Yagi on an outside wall would give the game

    Phil Thompson, Jul 22, 2005
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  2. If it's a designated hotspot, with wireless isolation so one laptop can't
    access another's data, that's fine. But most home networks are used both for
    internet access and also for PC-to-PC comms for file/printer sharing. That
    sort of network needs good security.
    Martin Underwood, Jul 22, 2005
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  3. So, why do you need to ask this in a "uk" group? Too scared to ask in a yank one?

    (also to be pedantic, "crybabys" should be "crybabies" note the 'ie' replacing the

    Anyway, theft is theft however you want to dress it up. You are a thief asking for
    help in your crime.

    Why should someone pay for something only to have you steal part of it from them?
    What justification have you for that?

    No - you're a petty criminal. I know how to solve your "problem" but I would never
    help you to do so.

    Try posting in a group aimed at thieves and other lowlife.
    Andrew Sayers, Jul 22, 2005
  4. roger

    Alan Walker Guest

    Hey, it's an unsecured network, it's anybody's playground.
    Alan Walker, Jul 22, 2005
  5. roger

    Clint Sharp Guest

    Actually, I'd have to agree with our 'merkin friend on that one, it is
    actually aluminum, it was the British that bastardised it to aluminium
    Almost but not quite yet... He has to steal the connection first!
    Clint Sharp, Jul 22, 2005
  6. roger

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    Well if it was an official bastardisation then that makes aluminium the
    correct spelling now innit?
    Jeff Gaines, Jul 23, 2005
  7. roger

    bigbrian Guest

    Complete bollocks, actually.

    It was originally named by Humphry Davy (English) as Alumium.
    changing to Aluminum and then to Aluminium all within 5 years. (early
    part of the 19th Century)

    At that time, many other elements ended in -ium, (many of them also
    named by Davy) so the scientific community liked it for its
    consistency. Including in the US, where the spelling *with* the "i"
    was to all intents and purposes the only accepted spelling throughout
    most of the 19th century. It was only in the last 2 or 3 decades of
    the century that Aluminum began to regain some currency in the US, and
    it was only in 1925 that the American Chemical Society decided to
    adopt Aluminum as the spelling of choice.

    bigbrian, Jul 23, 2005
  8. roger

    Clint Sharp Guest

    I stand corrected, you are right. I'm curious as to what Hans Christian
    Oersted would have called it if Davy hadn't poked his nose in and named
    it before it was 'discovered' though! Apologies to Conor.
    Clint Sharp, Jul 23, 2005
  9. said who ?

    (not necessarily disagreeing, but interested which deity pronounced

    Phil Thompson, Jul 23, 2005
  10. Apparently we can blame Humphry Davy, who originally named it alumium,
    changed it to aluminum, and was then persuaded that aluminium had more
    of a "classical" sound and agreed with potassium, sodium, and magnesium,
    which he had also named
    The "classical" aspect sounds like the mess about sulphur - sulfur is
    actually the "correct" spelling, as the word doesn't come from Greek,
    despite what some Eminent Victorians thought.
    Coming back on topic, the National Criminal Intelligence Service (an
    oxymoron :) has the resources to arrest someone for selling frogspawn
    on the Net, so I wonder how long it will be before our thief gets a
    knock on the door.
    Jonathan Silverlight, Jul 23, 2005
  11. roger

    Conor Guest

    Yeah...unlike you, we're not habitual THIEVES.
    Napster sub.
    Yup. £200 got me 10 copies of XP Pro, 10 XP Home, 10 MS Office, Server
    2003 etc etc with Microsoft sending me new software as they release it.
    That's the problem with you fucking yanks. Take the moral high ground
    then berate others for doing the same.
    Conor, Jul 23, 2005
  12. roger

    Rob Morley Guest

    How long will it take them to ride their bikes across the Atlantic?
    Rob Morley, Jul 23, 2005
  13. roger

    Geoff Lane Guest


    Perhaps you could have got your answer by wording your question

    Unauthorised access to someone elses computer is an offence in the UK
    and the fact that someone leaves their network insecure doesn't
    entitle someone to use it.

    The way you asked your question was inviting others to assist in an
    Good point..
    No need, Linux and OpenOffice are legitimately free.

    Geoff Lane
    Geoff Lane, Jul 23, 2005
  14. It was known, just not isolated - I suspect there are lots of other
    examples of elements which were hard to obtain, and named before anyone
    saw the pure stuff.
    Would a European scientist like Oersted have gone for "ium" or "um" (or
    some totally different ending)?
    Alumen is Latin (Late or Classical ?) and "alumine" for the base was
    apparently proposed in 1761
    Jonathan Silverlight, Jul 23, 2005
  15. roger

    Conor Guest

    No need. Got this nice "agreement" where one law enforcement agency on
    one side pass info onto the other on his side.
    Conor, Jul 24, 2005
  16. roger

    Pete Guest

    Anyone tell me how I can make a bomb to blow my neighbours up?

    It's just a technical question by the way so don't moralise ;)

    Pete, Jul 24, 2005
  17. Hi Roger. My hints are below.
    Conor, no it isn't. It's something I have been hoping my neighbours
    would do for months. I run an open WiFi hotspot in the Cotswolds and
    am quite happy for anyone to use it. I've only recently added a
    captive portal to it specifically stating it is for free public use;
    prior to that, it was just a plain open network, and I *STILL*
    welcomed neighbours using it then.

    We should stop thinking that an open network is open because the
    owners are too stupid to protect themselves. In all likelyhood it is
    open because the owners are kind-hearted, neighbourly and generous. I
    would like to commend Roger's neighbours for being so
    community-spirited and I would hope that my neighbours would think the
    same of me.

    I have an orchard with 9 fruit trees but there are only 2 people in my
    household. There is NO WAY we could find a use for all those apples
    and plums. If I choose to leave the gates to my orchard open, then
    that is because I *EXPECT* my neighbours and passers-by to help
    themselves, not because I forgot to shut the gate. It is this stupid
    townie mentality that causes problems to farmers; if a farmer has left
    a gate open then that is because he WANTS it open, you don't shut a
    gate that has been left open, it is open for a reason; for instance,
    you might isolate the herd grazing in one field from its water in
    another field, or he might be trying to encourage ramblers to visit
    his farm shop.

    My hotspot website is and I would
    welcome anyone repeating my signal - I'd especially welcome someone
    repeating it so that it covers the nearby campsite. Maybe that way, us
    country folk could teach the townie campers about "neighbourliness".

    Okay, first off let's understand the difference between a repeater and
    an access point and a bridge, then later on I'll give you my tips on
    operating a repeater.

    WiFi Repeater: Create WiFi from Wifi
    WiFi Access Point: Create WiFi from Ethernet Cable
    WiFi Bridge: Create Ethernet Cable from WiFi

    A repeater simply repeats the WiFi signal wireless again. In repeater
    mode, the ethernet port is for configuration only. You should not be
    able to access the WiFi network from the ethernet port in repeater
    mode. What repeater mode should do is take one signal and create
    another louder signal. This is ideal for creating a new, louder,
    wireless signal at the edge of a poor wireless signal from elsewhere.
    Typically in the configuration you have to specify the network ID, or
    even the MAC address, of the originating base station.

    In access point mode you are taking a wired (ethernet cable) network
    and creating a wireless (WiFi) network out of it. Often this is how
    you make a base station, basically.

    In bridge mode you are taking a wireless (wifi) network and creating a
    wired (ethernet cable) network out of it. For example I might want to
    plug in an ethernet cable in the shed to receive my WiFi network on a
    PC that had an ethernet port but no WiFi card.

    So you either want:

    1. REPEATER: Create a new good wireless signal out of a poor wireless
    signal - no ethernet cables required at all.

    2. BRIDGE: Create a wired network (ethernet cable) out of a wireless

    I don't think you want an access point.

    Some products have switchable modes. For instance I have a pair of
    D-Link DWL-700AP boxes. One acts as an Access Point to transmit the
    network from my Linux server, another sits in my shed and acts as a
    Repeater to extend this network into my neighbour's gardens so they
    can use it.

    I can just go into the admin menu on the DWL-700AP and configure it as
    I want. You might be able to do switch modes on your product, then
    again you might need to replace it with a specific box. Read the
    manual to see if it has switchable modes.

    I've tried repeating WiFi and it seems to be a bit of an art rather
    than a science. However I have learned the following from anecdotal

    * Try to use the same brand repeaters as the brand of the base
    station. This seems to give a much more stable signal. It SHOUDLN'T
    make a difference, but in my experience it DOES. So if you're
    repeating a Linksys base station, use a Linksys repeater.

    * Ideally use the same model family; eg. 802.11b for 802.11b, don't
    mix a "g" repeater with a "b" basestation even though this
    theoretically shouldn't matter; it sort of works for a few minutes,
    but in the long term tends to suffer from extreme reliability

    * Amercian repeaters, even of the same brand, do not seem to like
    repeating UK base stations. Again, it SHOULDN'T make a difference, but
    in my experience is DOES. So if you are repeating a UK model base
    station, use a UK model repeater.

    I wonder if there is a slight difference in the frequency allocation
    of UK to US WiFi?
    Andrew Oakley, Jul 25, 2005
  18. To clarify, the Computer Misuse Act 1990 makes three offences illegal:

    * Unauthorised access

    In order for this offence to take place there must have been some kind
    of SUBVERSION, for instance gaining unauthorised use of a password, or
    disabling a security system to bypass the need for a password. Simply
    CONNECTING to an OPEN system is NOT an offence.

    * Unauthorised access with intent

    As per Unauthorised Access but made worse by having a further attempt
    to commit a criminal act such as financial fraud. If the attempt
    becomes successful then normally this is dropped in favour of the more
    serious crime.

    * Unauthorised modification

    As per Unauthorised Access but made worse by actually changing or
    destroying data.

    So to repeat: simply CONNECTING to an OPEN system is NOT an offence
    under the Computer Misuse Act. No subversion is required to access the
    network so no offence has taken place under the CMA.
    Andrew Oakley, Jul 25, 2005
  19. Yes. You've specifically set up a network that you are happy for people to
    use and even encourage them to use. That's very different from a network
    which the owner thinks is private but which someone connects to. In your
    case, I presume you've taken precautions such as wireless isolation to make
    sure that computers on your network cannot be accessed by anyone who
    connects wirelessly. Most home networks will not have this, because they
    will want to be able to access shared resources (drives, printers) on
    various computers (wired and wireless) around their network.

    Connecting to a designated network like yours is fine - and you are
    providing a great service. Let's hope more people do this. But connecting to
    a network that you're not authorised to use is wrong. The problem is, how do
    you distinguish one from the other?

    You could say that any wireless network that doesn't have a WEP/WPA password
    is deemed to be a publicly-available hotspot. But that's a bit of a rash
    assumption: several of my customers have set up their own wireless networks
    and haven't bothered to set up passwords ("oh, that's too complicated for me
    to understand - does it really matter?") and have been horrified when I've
    shown them how my own laptop can access their network and their files. Maybe
    all public networks should conform to a standard and widely-known SSID
    naming convention.

    Driving round my local industrial estate with my laptop and NetStumbler
    (with TCP disabled to prevent accidental connection) I was horrified at the
    number of unencrypted networks that I could detect, many of them with SSIDs
    that make it obvious which company they relate to. Maybe some of them were
    public hotspots (especially if they were near the cafe/shop on the estate)
    but I wouldn't want to risk prosecution by connecting to any of them unless
    I knew I had authorisation.

    How do you distinguish between a gate that the farmer's deliberately left
    open and one that the last walker has forgotten to close or that some louts
    have opened for the hell of it. I always close gates that I find closed, and
    I tend to close gates that I find open, especially if there are crops in one
    field and animals in the other, or cows in ones field and sheep in another.
    But I never know whether I'm doing the right thing or the wrong thing. I've
    only seen one open gate where the farmer has put up a sign saying "Please
    leave this gate open". It's probably better to err on the side of caution
    and close a gate that's open.
    Martin Underwood, Jul 25, 2005
  20. roger

    myWIFIzone Guest

    You can put a no trespassing sign on the gate with our free software.
    It blocks WIFI freeloaders and redirects them to a "captive portal" if
    they try to surf. See
    myWIFIzone, Jul 25, 2005
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