Spammers Attack Wireless Networks

from the looking-for-openings dept

In the past, there have been warnings that came out saying you shouldn’t keep your wireless networks open because spammers might use them to send out spam (or virus or denial of service attacks). The first stories about such actions came out of broadband providers telling their customers to lock down their networks, which made me skeptical. It seemed like a FUD tactic to make sure their customers weren’t sharing their broadband connections. Now, however, a new study in the UK says that many of the people who accessed some honeypot WiFi connections they set up were trying to send out spam. They found that about 25% of accesses were doing so on purpose (rather than just having their computer pick up an open network) – and of those, 71% were looking to send out spam. I’m still a little skeptical that there are a group of wardriving spammers out there, roaming our cities looking for ways to cover their tracks – but it could happen. While the kneejerk reaction to this is (of course) telling people they should completely lock down their wireless networks, I would think there’s an opportunity for someone to provide better tools for managing WiFi networks, so that the owner of the network can still allow open access, while more carefully monitoring who is using the network and what they’re doing on it.

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