Free Public WiFi isn't set up like most wireless networks people use to get to the Internet. Instead, it's an "ad hoc" network — meaning when a user selects it, he or she isn't connecting to a router or hot spot, but rather directly to someone else's computer in the area.
Though it doesn't actually provide Internet access, the network has spread across the country thanks to an old Windows XP bug.
Msg#: 4215617 posted 2:03 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)
Perhaps it's worth reminding people that wireless internet connections should be limited in terms of protocols to TCP/IP only unless you actually need file or printer sharing. I'm not certain that this completely shuts the door on hackers but it will certainly stop Joe Public from accessing your files.
Msg#: 4215617 posted 1:02 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
Wireless is a massive security weakness, whatever it's used for (be it car keys, "contactless" credit cards, or internet access).
If you use public wireless access points, you're crazy. I'd only consider it if I had a stateful firewall installed, plus tripwire monitoring, over either a VPN connecting to a trusted certificate or (if using web only) an onion routing network, running one operating system on a virtual machine running on a different operating system, on a laptop that contained no sensitive files. And even then I'd only use the connection for checking the weather forecast.
Msg#: 4215617 posted 11:12 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
I've seen similar phony "access points" with airline names, etc. I've always wondered it this was the setup for some subsequent distribution of malware or creation of a massive botnet, but no mass utilization has ever materialized.