by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
france, hadopi, oversight, review, three strikes


54-Year Old School Teacher Who Doesn't Know How To Download Movies First To Be Kicked Off The Internet In France

from the hadopi'd dept

We recently noted that, over in France, under the HADOPI three strikes regime, they had their first 10 people get their third strike, and each was being reviewed to see if they should lose their connection. Well, it looks like the first guy has lost his connection... and it's a 54-year old school teacher who insists he has no idea how to download unauthorized content. The story is a little unclear, but it sounds like he had open WiFi, and he didn't understand what the "first strike," was really about. When he got the "second strike" notice, he tried to figure out how to secure his WiFi, but it either took too long or he was unable to figure it out... and so along came the third strike. The guy is pretty upset about this, for a damn good reason. It's going to be ridiculously expensive to fight and it may get appealed up to European courts outside of France, which would entail significant travel expenses as well. This is why it's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, right?

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  1. icon
    Manabi (profile), 25 Jul 2011 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: secure computers

    Well, a bit of Googling around, the first step is extremely easy, you can find routers with disabled SSIDs without any trouble using a variety of tools:

    Secondly, you can spoof MAC addresses easily, and since MAC addresses are sent unencrypted, anyone nearby can sniff your network (quite easy to do) when you're home and figure out what MAC addresses you use, then spoof them later:

    And finally, you can hack WPA/WPA2 to gain access to the network. This is harder than the previous two steps, and if the key is sufficiently long and random enough may be impossible, but still not all that difficult. Since most people don't use a key of sufficient length & complexity to defeat this kind of attack, this is just a time consuming step:

    Once you're on the network you don't need admin access if you're just wanting to use someone else's connection to hide your downloading movies/music/porn/etc. You just locate their router (easy), sniff their network to find a MAC address to use so you can spoof it (also easy), hack WPA/WPA2 if needed (not quite as easy but not too hard) and voila, you're on their network and any copyright notices will be sent to them.

    And that was the result of maybe 5 minutes Googling for info on how to get past the security restrictions you mentioned. I'm far from an expert on this (I don't even use wireless on my home network, I prefer wired connections for both speed and security), someone who's really determined should have an easy time of connecting to your router if they really want to.

    This isn't to say doing what you've done is a bad idea, it's just not a guaranteed way of preventing hackers from getting in if they're determined enough. It's a lot like physical security, you're basically making yourself a more difficult target so that the hacker (or burglar for physical security) will pick another, easier target instead. It also deters casual wireless hackers, much as locking your door deters random people from walking in while you're not home.

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