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Old 03-03-2014, 09:09   #16
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

When your local restaurant or coffee shop has a sign up saying "Free WiFi" isn't that permission to access an unencrypted/unsecured system? No way I see anybody being prosecuted in that case. At a marina or other facility that has WiFi for their customers, that is permission also.

Some interesting reading can be had here:
Wi-Fi Connection Laws | LegalMatch Law Library

And here:
Using just any unsecured WiFi - stealing? | Coffeehouse | Forums | Channel 9

My take from all this:
If a private system is unsecured it is likely that the owner will not object to casual use. That doesn't make it legal, but if the owner doesn't complain, law enforcement will not likely become involved.

If you access such a system, don't advertise the fact unless you are trying to make a test case.

I am not trying to make a test case, so I'll be quiet now.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:16   #17
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

I dont think it compares to a home owner leaving the front door unlocked. More like they left the front curtains open and you can look in and see the TV show they are watching from the street.

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Old 03-03-2014, 10:26   #18
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

The reality simply is that new wireless systems "come" secured when even computer-illiterate folks set them up these days.. It used to be you had to program the security, now it pretty much comes built-in with the router. Makes this a pretty obsolete question, since I haven't found any unsecured wifi ever since I bought our Alpha four years ago, with a 25 or 50 foot powered USB extension. Barkin' up the wrong tree. Just sayin'.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:42   #19
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

"Built in" yes but you still need to set encryption type and set the password or it is open to all. My 35 foot cable has got me internet many places that cannot be seen from ground level. And im refering to marinas that give you permission and the password but are not close enough to the dock or the boat is too low at low tide to get a signal. Hoist the cable up, problem solved.

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Old 03-03-2014, 10:43   #20
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

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Originally Posted by Capt RonB View Post
Interesting subject.

If I was a crook the easiest way to separate rich yachties from their cash would be to set up an unsecured wifi hub and capture data as it passes through; passwords, logins, etc.

Just a caution but I wouldn't do any email, banking or buying over such connections.
as long as you are on a secure socket connection (known as https or SSL) then there is no way in hell your data can be decrypted by anyone anywhere in the world
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:46   #21
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

In my case its "Balken" up the right tree. Wait my masts are both steel.

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Old 03-03-2014, 11:08   #22
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

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...banda ancha...

I know I'll regret this: OK Z-baby, wot's dat?
Spanish for broad band.... as used here Entel - Teléfonos - Catálogo
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:09   #23
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

crabby baby,... banda ancha is mexicos answer to sprint, verizon and the rest in delivery of 3 g service...or is it 1 1/2 g speed...i fergit, but it is called dial up broadband, and works well in portable machines on water near cell towers.....sometimes interrupted by lack of resistors on an outboard passing by or passing boats/ships with radar in use. (observation, only, mind you, and in real time.)
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:13   #24
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

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I dont think it compares to a home owner leaving the front door unlocked. More like they left the front curtains open and you can look in and see the TV show they are watching from the street.

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How about plugging into an outlet outside the house or hooking a hose up to thier unsecured exterior faucet?

It is exactly the same except it's very easy to do it without the owner realizing what you are doing and it's highly unlikely that they will do anything about it.

Coffee shop/marina wifi's are a different situation. Assuming you are purchasing thier products and services, they are purposely putting the systems there for your use.

Now if you are anchored 3 miles away using a high powered antenna to access the marina's wifi, you are back to the same situation as using a homeowners system. The system was likely never intended for non-customers and you degrade the customers usage by using up bandwidth.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:27   #25
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

Don't be so sure your free wifi encrypted data is safe. It is not that hard for a hacker to setup a free wifi router with a spoofed Google(or other search engine) page that can easily lead to installing a keylogger on your computer. Or even connect directly to your computer if your computer does not have the latest security patches.

Unless you have complete control of your connection to the internet(wired) you are not safe.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:03   #26
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

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Originally Posted by wellin View Post
I dont think it compares to a home owner leaving the front door unlocked.
In the United States, people have been prosecuted for "theft of services" for using someone else's unsecured WIFI without their permission. A home owner leaving the front door unlocked is EXACTLY the analogy that has been used in court. As far as the courts are concerned, it doesn't just "compare," it is precisely the same.

Of course, if a restaurant or a coffee shop advertises that they are offering free WIFI, that's a whole different situation.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:09   #27
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

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Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Don't be so sure your free wifi encrypted data is safe. It is not that hard for a hacker to setup a free wifi router with a spoofed Google(or other search engine) page that can easily lead to installing a keylogger on your computer. Or even connect directly to your computer if your computer does not have the latest security patches.

Unless you have complete control of your connection to the internet(wired) you are not safe.
Like Dockhead said earlier, use a VPN and you're safe.
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Old 03-03-2014, 14:02   #28
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

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Like Dockhead said earlier, use a VPN and you're safe.
You are not safe, you are safer. There are still ways to circumvent a VPN if someone really wants to and has the tools and knowledge. The company hosting the VPN could be hacked. Anonymous has hacked high level government websites, large retailers and internet based email sites. Even health care sites which are subject to HIPAA compliance have been hacked. I cannot believe a for-profit VPN provider is any more secure.

How many people actually bother with a VPN? And do they have them setup properly. They should have at least 3DES (pronounced triple DES) or AES as encryption. Do they have a complex non word password? They should also install a personal firewall.

Call me paranoid but I have seen a lot of stuff happen in the last 25 years as an IT professional.
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Old 03-03-2014, 14:48   #29
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

I think that my earlier analogy of turning your car within someone's private driveway is a better analogy to the use of an unsecured wi-fi signal. You are using the private access of the driveway that was paid for by the homeowners, but you are not entering their home.
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Old 03-03-2014, 14:59   #30
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Re: Using an Unsecured WiFi System

TimR...

I'd like to understand technically how a spoofed Google page could install a keylogger, if you have "normal" browser security settings. Seems a stretch to me.

Any specific links you could send me to?

Thanks
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