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t0p
October 8th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Is it reasonable, in this day and age, to assume that an open wireless connection to the internet has been left open on purpose so others can use it?

Spice Weasel
October 8th, 2010, 10:44 PM
Most of the time it's just people who don't know how to secure their connection.

markp1989
October 8th, 2010, 10:46 PM
Is it reasonable, in this day and age, to assume that an open wireless connection to the internet has been left open on purpose so others can use it?

depends on the ssid of the access point in question, if there is on called fooo_Guest or something like that, of "freewifi" then yes.

but with some that are have generic names, its normaly that they dont know how to secure it.

some people argue that if a network is open then permission to use it is implied (or given as you have to request an ip from the router before you can get online)

Its a akward one really, i have used open wifi before, but i tunnelled all my traffic though ssh to my home pc, as you never know, they might of left it open in hope that some one will login to sensitive sites using it.

kerry_s
October 8th, 2010, 11:05 PM
:lolflag: mines open, sure you can use it. :wink:

if you know what a honeypot is an still want to use it, then well, i track everything to watch the kids habits.

cariboo
October 8th, 2010, 11:27 PM
I've got one ap that uses wap and an other that is wide open. The wide open ap is in my shop, and in order to use it you need to park in my yard, as it to far away from the road.

pwnst*r
October 8th, 2010, 11:47 PM
No.

siimo
October 9th, 2010, 12:41 AM
:lolflag: mines open, sure you can use it. :wink:

if you know what a honeypot is an still want to use it, then well, i track everything to watch the kids habits.

I iz using your internets, stealing your ubuntuforums password. :lolflag:

You know people using your WiFi could sniff your traffic? unless its encrypted.

t0p
October 9th, 2010, 12:50 AM
You know people using your WiFi could sniff your traffic? unless its encrypted.

Yes. I use a vpn when possible (my account allows only a certain amount of data transfer per day, so sometimes it's not available), plus I use gmail with https by default and use https on other sites if available. I never use an open wifi connection for anything sensitive unless there is traffic encryption I trust. I wish I could do everything through an ssh tunnel to my hoe computer, but unfortunately my home setup doesn't allow for this.

EDIT: Oops, I read that backwards: I thought you were referring to the fact that the owner of an open wifi connection can read my traffic if it's not encrypted. Silly me for not reading carefully enough!

murderslastcrow
October 9th, 2010, 12:51 AM
I leave mine open because my brother's OS X Tiger can't use the authentication methods on it with the wireless card he has. I monitor the bandwidth, of course, and we're all using UNIX-based OSes, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue unless there are government spies near us. However, we know everyone within range of our wireless very well, and we have a lot of yard surrounding our property, so I doubt anyone could steal it and get very good reception.

But I also know a lot of people who leave it open because they can't be bothered to secure it. Not everyone is an advanced enough computer user to be willing to set up their own security.

The Real Dave
October 10th, 2010, 10:31 PM
I upgraded to 5Mb Wimax powered broadband, so I was thinking of creating an open guest AP, with the speed limited to 50KB or so.

Then again, I can't see any other WiFi APs in my area, so perhaps, no one would ever connect >.<

Legendary_Bibo
October 10th, 2010, 10:56 PM
With our old router we used to leave it open because we just thought it was a hassle to put in a WEP code. Well when we got our PS3 it had issues connecting to an open network so we locked it down. Our network sped up significantly, our NAT became open, and all our disconnection issues with our other stuff (PSPs, laptops, etc.) just disappeared. We thought it was odd. Well about a week later our neighbor was outside and he was complaining that for a week the internet kept asking him for a password...

He doesn't understand why he has to pay for internet when it was free before and he thinks internet companies are trying to scam him.

seenthelite
October 11th, 2010, 01:06 AM
Many people struggle to use a computer installed with Windows operating systems. They do not bother to read instructions on how to maintain or use Windows securely. Therefore it is a safe assumption that there are people who do the same with their wireless setups. But I would not take advantage of this myself.

Dustin2128
October 11th, 2010, 02:31 AM
Well about a week later our neighbor was outside and he was complaining that for a week the internet kept asking him for a password...

He doesn't understand why he has to pay for internet when it was free before and he thinks internet companies are trying to scam him.

:lolflag:

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 02:38 AM
Yes.

KiwiNZ
October 11th, 2010, 02:42 AM
If someone left their front door open does not mean their home is open for all to help them selves? .....No . So the answer is no.

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 02:47 AM
If someone left their front door open does not mean their home is open for all to help them selves. So the answer is no.

Ah, metaphors. Let me play too!:

If someone leaves a bowl of apples in a public place it means it's ok to take one. So the answer is yes.

KiwiNZ
October 11th, 2010, 02:52 AM
Ah, metaphors. Let me play too!:

If someone leaves a bowl of apples in a public place it means it's ok to take one. So the answer is yes.

Only if it has a sign , please take one , or free to take etc

Stigmata13
October 11th, 2010, 02:55 AM
Just because someone leaves the door to their house open, that doesn't mean they expect strangers to come walking in.
While it may be open because they are sharing it, it isn't safe to assume so.
Edit: Looks like someone already beat me to that metaphor, lol. Sorry I didn't bother reading past the first page.

Legendary_Bibo
October 11th, 2010, 02:56 AM
Ah, metaphors. Let me play too!:

If someone leaves a bowl of apples in a public place it means it's ok to take one. So the answer is yes.

And I will question your metaphorical question with a relevant metaphorical question. Would you really want to eat the apples? What if...
http://imagemacros.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/its_a_trap.jpg

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 02:58 AM
Only if it has a sign , please take one , or free to take etc

No, if it *doesn't* have a price tag and a container to place money in.

KiwiNZ
October 11th, 2010, 03:05 AM
No, only if it *doesn't* have a price tag and a container to place money in.

So all cars left accidentally unlocked in a public can be taken
All Courier deliveries left in doorways are free gratis
Leave your Bike outside a Shop with out a price tag on it don't expect it to be there when you get out .

The Law in most countries frowns upon taking something knowingly to be not yours.

Also anyone that uses another persons bandwidth unauthorized is a scumbag period.

Legendary_Bibo
October 11th, 2010, 03:08 AM
No, if it *doesn't* have a price tag and a container to place money in.

What if it's in an eBay store? You took an apple without setting up an eBay and PayPal account and paid the person who was selling that dozen of granny smith apples, and now when someone buys it to make 6 apple pies they will be one short, and will leave the seller with a bad review, and then the apples seller's competition will look better and have an unfair advantage. He'll go out of business, will never be able to put his kids through college, and they'll have to build their own house out of apple tree wood, and live off of nothing, but apples.

Austin25
October 11th, 2010, 03:13 AM
I say talk to the neighbors first.

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 03:29 AM
So all cars left accidentally unlocked in a public can be taken
All Courier deliveries left in doorways are free gratis
Leave your Bike outside a Shop with out a price tag on it don't expect it to be there when you get out .

The Law in most countries frowns upon taking something knowingly to be not yours.

Also anyone that uses another persons bandwidth unauthorized is a scumbag period.

Hmm, you're putting words in my mouth. I didn't say or imply any of those, I said apples.
You tell me, which is a more accurate representation of wifi: apples or bikes? LOL ---> I'm sure KiwiNZ will understand this, but for others who may not this is a rhetorical question: it's ridiculous to compare either apples or bikes or homes or anything else to wifi. I could ask which is a more accurate representation of a dog: soy sauce or a sofa?

You have to lock a car every time you leave it. The owner of the car fully intended to lock it.

Te recipient of the delivery doesn't know it's arrived, so they've made no decision about it, unlike their wifi.

You can easily deduce the bike owner's motives: they're inside the shop and soon they'll come out and ride off (although IMHO this is risky behaviour, and this one should be lumped with the car in 'accidentally left unlocked'). It's not so easy to draw conclusions about a wifi owners motives, and as you can see some people will assume the owner has intentionally left it open for others. The only reason I would ever leave a wifi point unsecured is because I intended all comers to use it.

The law in most countries doesn't classify using someones wifi as taking something. Accessing a network unauthorized, maybe, but not a sure thing, and not applicable everywhere: http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2008/03/bill-criminalizing-wifi-leeching-shot-down-and-rightly-so.ars

Thanks for implying I'm a scumbag, btw ;)

lisati
October 11th, 2010, 03:43 AM
It almost reads as if we're discussing situational ethics here....

If there's any doubt about the AP you've found, surely good manners require you to seek permission before using it.

corrytonapple
October 11th, 2010, 03:45 AM
If someone left their front door open does not mean their home is open for all to help them selves? .....No . So the answer is no.


Ah, metaphors. Let me play too!:

If someone leaves a bowl of apples in a public place it means it's ok to take one. So the answer is yes.


Only if it has a sign , please take one , or free to take etc


Just because someone leaves the door to their house open, that doesn't mean they expect strangers to come walking in.
While it may be open because they are sharing it, it isn't safe to assume so.
Edit: Looks like someone already beat me to that metaphor, lol. Sorry I didn't bother reading past the first page.


And I will question your metaphorical question with a relevant metaphorical question. Would you really want to eat the apples? What if... it's s trap!


No, if it *doesn't* have a price tag and a container to place money in.


So all cars left accidentally unlocked in a public can be taken
All Courier deliveries left in doorways are free gratis
Leave your Bike outside a Shop with out a price tag on it don't expect it to be there when you get out .

The Law in most countries frowns upon taking something knowingly to be not yours.

Also anyone that uses another persons bandwidth unauthorized is a scumbag period.


What if it's in an eBay store? You took an apple without setting up an eBay and PayPal account and paid the person who was selling that dozen of granny smith apples, and now when someone buys it to make 6 apple pies they will be one short, and will leave the seller with a bad review, and then the apples seller's competition will look better and have an unfair advantage. He'll go out of business, will never be able to put his kids through college, and they'll have to build their own house out of apple tree wood, and live off of nothing, but apples.


Hmm, you're putting words in my mouth. I didn't say or imply any of those, I said apples.
You tell me, which is a more accurate representation of wifi: apples or bikes? LOL ---> I'm sure KiwiNZ will understand this, but for others who may not this is a rhetorical question: it's ridiculous to compare either apples or bikes or homes or anything else to wifi. I could ask which is a more accurate representation of a dog: soy sauce or a sofa?

You have to lock a car every time you leave it. The owner of the car fully intended to lock it.

Te recipient of the delivery doesn't know it's arrived, so they've made no decision about it, unlike their wifi.

You can easily deduce the bike owner's motives: they're inside the shop and soon they'll come out and ride off (although IMHO this is risky behavior, and this one should be lumped with the car in 'accidentally left unlocked'). It's not so easy to draw conclusions about a wifi owners motives, and as you can see some people will assume the owner has intentionally left it open for others. The only reason I would ever leave a wifi point unsecured is because I intended all comers to use it.

The law in most countries doesn't classify using someones wifi as taking something. Accessing a network unauthorized, maybe, but not a sure thing, and not applicable everywhere: http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2008/03/bill-criminalizing-wifi-leeching-shot-down-and-rightly-so.ars

Thanks for implying I'm a scumbag, btw ;)
This is funny. Half of the posts here are about metaphors and how they are incorrect or correct. My opinion is if they let you use it you can have it. WHY? Because they gave you access. But then, they might as well lock it down and give you the password because that is safer for the both of you.

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 03:56 AM
Ah, metaphors. Let me play too!:

If someone leaves a bowl of apples in a public place it means it's ok to take one. So the answer is yes.


...
it's ridiculous to compare either apples or bikes or homes or anything else to wifi. I could ask which is a more accurate representation of a dog: soy sauce or a sofa?

...
This is funny. Half of the posts here are about metaphors and how they are incorrect or correct. My opinion is if they let you use it you can have it. WHY? Because they gave you access. But then, they might as well lock it down and give you the password because that is safer for the both of you.

I agree about metaphors (I hope that's reasonably obvious). The internet is relatively new, and people all over the world try to use existing objects and concepts to create metaphors for it. Perfectly reasonable behaviour, but it just doesn't work.

Legendary_Bibo
October 11th, 2010, 03:59 AM
I agree about metaphors (I hope that's reasonably obvious). The internet is relatively new, and people all over the world try to use existing objects and concepts to create metaphors for it. Perfectly reasonable behaviour, but it just doesn't work.

Mine weren't really metaphors, I was making fun of where everything was heading.

KiwiNZ
October 11th, 2010, 04:01 AM
Promoting the theft of bandwidth on these Forums will earn an exit.

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 04:07 AM
Promoting the theft of bandwidth on these Forums will earn an exit.

Oh, is that what's happening here?;) Are you feeling a little raw?

No one has promoted or advocated any such thing, we're just trying to guess a wifi owners motives for leaving it unsecured, so your threat is unnecessary.

randomizer101
October 11th, 2010, 04:08 AM
I am not sure I can agree that we should use other peoples' bandwidth out of their ignorance from a moral standpoint, but I do not have sympathy for people that do have their bandwidth used by others. I certainly don't buy into the idea that if you sniff WiFi traffic that you are invading privacy. Private information should be protected, not broadcast to the neighbourhood. You wouldn't leave copies of your birth certificate or credit card details on the sidewalk outside your house now, would you?

I do think that all WAPs should come with encryption by default, and should use a randomly generated password that is provided with the product (along with the manual) so that the user will have some amount of protection without having to know how to set it up. It's fairly straight-forward with most modern OSs to connect to a secure network as long as it is only using a passphrase.

KiwiNZ
October 11th, 2010, 04:10 AM
Oh, is that what's happening here?;) Are you feeling a little raw?

No one has promoted or advocated any such thing, we're just trying to guess a wifi owners motives for leaving it unsecured, so your threat is unnecessary.

I am stating the UF position on this.

Dustin2128
October 11th, 2010, 04:53 AM
no reason not to have 2 networks running; open and WPA secured. It's really fun messing with the open side; good thing I'm not totally evil.

markp1989
October 11th, 2010, 08:02 PM
If someone left their front door open does not mean their home is open for all to help them selves?.

ever hear of squatters law in the uk?

it says that if some one gets in the house without breaking anything , then they can stay there (im paraphrasing alot here)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting#United_Kingdom

a lot of people have came home from holiday , and found they have been locked out of there house by squatters, and legally they are doing nothing wrong.

koenn
October 11th, 2010, 08:41 PM
. My opinion is if they let you use it you can have it. WHY? Because they gave you access. .
In a case like this, it's legislation that matters, not your opinion.

I know that in Belgium, accessing a computer system or network, without explicit permission of its owner, is a crime, even if such access is easy because of a lack of security measures.
I'm aware of similar legislation in a couple of other countries as well.

MooPi
October 11th, 2010, 09:26 PM
I can't quote a specific law but unsecured WiFi can lead to legal repercussions for the owner of said network. You can no longer claim that illegal activity on your network was not perpetrated by you. So if you leave your WiFi wide open and some perv downloads kiddy porn , or your neighbors kids downloaded a torrent of "Hurt Locker" you're responsible. So if it's not locked down you're asking for trouble. So be kind to your neighbors and let them know that their WiFi is a sign telling thieves and creeps to steal.

lisati
October 11th, 2010, 09:39 PM
I recall a situation some months back when I was helping a family member fix a broken XP installation (turns out that some malware had been allowed to get up to mischief). Somewhere along the line I discovered an unsecured wireless network. It didn't take long to discover whose it was, that someone had been using it without permission, and who actually had been using it. The owner of the AP, who isn't particularly tech-savvy, was shocked to learn that someone had been stealing their bandwidth. Needless to say, it was secured pretty quick.

t0p
October 11th, 2010, 10:26 PM
A few people have said one should ask one's neighbour before one uses their open wifi. But what if one lives in a block of flats, surrounded by other blocks of flats? The WAP could be in any one of maybe hundreds of flats. Do you really think that one should go knocking on hundreds of doors before using the connection?

corrytonapple
October 11th, 2010, 10:54 PM
In a case like this, it's legislation that matters, not your opinion.

I know that in Belgium, accessing a computer system or network, without explicit permission of its owner, is a crime, even if such access is easy because of a lack of security measures.
I'm aware of similar legislation in a couple of other countries as well.
Remember all, I am stating this saying my neighbor set up WiFi. We live pretty far apart, but say I get it. If it was unsecured I would tell them. There is no one else in the area that has WiFi except for us. It is a farming community. Anyway, you would say, and I would only need to if I needed to check the bank or something important, then I would go next door with my laptop and ask, "Can I use your internet for a few minutes so I can pay some bills?". If they say yes I use it if they say no then I will leave and drive all the way to the library. I am not suggesting doing it without permission.

A few people have said one should ask one's neighs before one uses their open wifi. But what if one lives in a block of flats, surrounded by other blocks of flats? The WAP could be in any one of maybe hundreds of flats. Do you really think that one should go knocking on hundreds of doors before using the connection?
As noted above, there is no other WiFi in the area, so I would just go over and ask them with explicit permission and only for important things.