[kismac] Re: More about SSID and Network Type...

  • From: "Java Nut" <javanut20@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: brad.knowles@xxxxxxxxx, kismac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 07 Dec 2003 20:10:25 -0600

 I am curious though how it would be regarded legally if someone
 used Kismac while traveling to see if there is a network around
 and happened to find a network with WEP turned off and then used
 it to reach the Internet for some light duty (low data volume),
 legal web surfing or email checking without checking whether the
 owner intended to share the network (or was merely incompentent
 to not secure his network).

If the network is unencrypted and wide open (not restricted to certain MAC addresses), and the SSID is something like "public" or "open" or something else equally obvious, I don't think there would be a legal problem.

If the network is restricted to certain MAC addresses, the SSID is not broadcast, or is WEP encrypted (i.e., they have taken some sort of measures to protect themselves against casual WiFi surfers), I think you'd run serious risk of legal liability.

About the cases described in your second paragraph, I agree with you absolutely that if any measure is taken to close a network, that is a clear statement that the owner does not want outside users. I was only intending to talk about nonsecured networks.

But what if the network is wide open like you describe in the first paragraph, but the broadcast SSID is the manufacturer default (name of access point), or a name chosen by the owner that does not indicate that casual users are welcome or unwelcome?

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