the mysterious internet connection

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ibidiem, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    So my house is saturated with a wireless internet feild, into which my iBook can insert its hungry little maw. On the little widget I got to tell me about the wireless connections around, all it says is "D-Link" which is apparently just the name of the actual, physical router that (I don't know the correct term) I'm sucking free bandwith off of.

    So my question is -- is there a program that can tell me more information about the 'free' wireless that I have? Should I have certain firewalls up (I'm running tyger) to protect from shifty servers? Can anyone give me some basic how-to, or point me in the right direction about this?

    There must be a million threads on this already, but the problem with searching is finding just the right words for something you're ignorant of...
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #2
    Shhh. Don't ask these kind of questions here. As this is stealing someone else's internet, we can't help you. Just be happy with what you have...
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    #3
    Just hope the person doesn't run some packet scanning software, lol.

    If you jacked my internet, I would be getting a look at every packet you send or recieve since ethreal is running on the server; after I get all your packets for a while i'd proceed to either take all your passwords or things like AIM convo's and post it online somewhere or take all the logs to the police if you did anything illegal whatsoever while on my network.

    Theres no password on my network, Theres also no locks on my doors. That doesn't mean its legal for you to go on my network, or walk in my house.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

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    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4

    Ethreal server? What kind of internet do you have?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    The only thing is... my city (PDX) has this company going around and setting up free public wireless internet.

    "Morality/Legality" aside, can anyone point me towards more resources on this?

    Or is mum truly the word?
     
  6. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6

    Anyone dumb enough to leave their wireless network open to everyone like that is not going to be smart enough to run a packet sniffer or know what one is ;)
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    jamesW135

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    Apr 30, 2005
  8. macrumors 6502

    nichos

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    #8
    Search the internet for "war driving."
    As far as software goes, check out kismac
     
  9. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9

    No, it's called taking advantage of someone's stupidity and ignorance. It's not stealing, you are not physically taking something away from them.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    If you want to get technical, yes it is stealing. You're taking away their monthly bandwidth that they pay for.


    And I'm not even going into the whole 'taking advantage' thing...
     
  11. macrumors member

    seriypshick

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Everywhere
    #11
    It's not stealing.

    They're still paying the same price. So, no it's not stealing.

    If I had wireless internet I wouldn't mind letting my neighbors use it. As long as they don't use the whole bandwith.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #12
    Sorry, but if the radio waves are invading my house, it sure isn't stealing. If you turn up your radio so loud that I can hear it across the street in my house, I am stealing that too?
     
  13. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #13
    So, normally you would have to pay for Internet access, right? And, now you are getting this free, right? So this means you are getting a free service that's normally paid for.

    You're not stealing anything from the customer. At most, you are simply aggravating them by using their available bandwidth.

    However, you're stealing bandwidth from the ISP, which has to pay for their Internet connection(s). Let's say 6 houses use one customer's wifi network, and also the Internet connection costs $40 per month. That's $240 per month in lost revenue to the ISP.

    Now, how is this not stealing?

    Quite honestly, people have been prosecuted for this in the US. Simply put, it's unauthorized network access.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #14
    That's a bad analogy. Radio stations do not have incremental costs when the number of users who are listening increases. So the costs are fairly fixed, and not variable in an ISP's case.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
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    Bay Area
    #15
    According to the RIAA, you are ;)


    No, but seriously. The more you use for you, the less for the person who is paying. So the radio analogy fails in that case.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #16
    In which case, the person is kind of a moron not to secure it. If it's not a closed network, it's an open one.

    yeah, the radio analogy isn't the best, but radio waves don't know boundaries, especially when they are unsecured. When I go into a new part of town or something, my PB half the time will automatically automatically get on the nearest open network (does not even ask me if I want to join it) - that's what open networks for. If you don't want an open network and people leaching off you, then secure it. In fact, many ISPs demand you do this and not share the signal with non-paying customers.


    EDIT: But I do agree it is extremely uncool to make a regular habit of leaching of someone's network, without asking. Checking email from time to time is one thing, downloading huge movie files for weeks on end or something is another.

    EDIT 2: Oh, Belvdr, I don't think there is a single person in the country who has been successfully prosecuted for this. I think only case has even gone to court.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #17
    How is stealing from a wifi connection any different than stealing cable or satellite TV? There isn't a physical product that you're stealing but people still go to jail and are successfully prosecuted for it. I mean, isn't it the cable or satellite company's fault for not scrambling their signal off or making it impossible for jacking into their network? How about stealing phone service? Is that wrong simply because price is clearly equated with minutes of service so you know how much exactly you're stealing?

    You may not think you're making an impact, but you could be crippling their internet. If you overwhelm their upload bandwidth, you can make even web surfing impossible for them.

    And justifying it by saying "they shouldn't be stupid and leave their network unprotected" is just an excuse for being a prick or a thief. Let's apply this mentality to other things.

    I steal your wallet. You should have been smart enough to hide it better instead of leaving it in your back pocket for me to take. You weren't robbed, you're just sharing your extra cash with everybody else. You'll still receive more money next week to spend on things so it isn't like you won't have more money in the future. I'll return your wallet too since that is an item you paid for. Your credit cards I'll keep, purchase a bunch of stuff on them, and then send them back to you afterwards. So I didn't steal your credit cards either.

    I steal your car because you were in a hurry and left your car keys in it while it was parked in your driveway. You should have been smart enough to take the keys and lock your doors so it isn't considered stealing anymore. Oh, maybe you did lock your doors and took your car keys, but Virus and his buddies Trojan, Worm, Malware, and others broke into your car and primed it so you can start it without a key. It is your fault that you don't repeatedly check on your car to make sure it is running perfectly so it is still alright I took your car without your permission then.

    I steal your crop as a farmer because you appear to have plenty and you didn't put a fence up to keep me out. It's not like the farmer relies on it as a source of income. Besides, you're only one person so it isn't making a noticeable impact. But then it is two people and three people and four people and dozens and then soon the farmer doesn't have a crop left. but you only stole a few ears of corn — as did everybody else.

    I steal your electricity from your house and use it to power my house, but it is alright even though I had to trespass on your property because you didn't secure your power supply enough and it isn't like you can own electricity. I mean, can you stick it in your pocket? Nope. So no stealing their either.

    Or, you don't lock your doors to your house and I simply move in. I use your water; your electricity, your furniture, your appliances, your beds, your rooms. I'm using your entire house without paying any rent but what exactly am I stealing? I'm not stealing something physical from you; yet I am still enjoying something that you would be charging me for free of charge.


    Just because you can't stick something in your pocket or hold it in your hands doesn't mean you're not stealing it. That is why we have patents and copyrights to protect intellectual property. That is why colleges will flunk you and kick you out in a heart beat if they discover you plagiarizing your papers. Just because radio waves don't respect physical boundaries and the majority of people aren't computer literate doesn't make it right to take advantage of them. Is it right to take advantage of the ignorant or mentally handicapped because they don't know better? What about even the smart simply because you're capable of scamming them? Acquiring something for free that you normally would have to pay for is thievery and blaming the victim is simply the justifications of a thief.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #18
    Maedus, the problem is that in all of those things you listed above, there are established laws preventing illicit use of those things. In all of those cases, it involves some sort tampering of devices, unlawful possession, or trespassing.

    In the case of wifi, there are no such laws (only something from the 80s that seems inapplicable to many legal experts), so the legal status of wifi networks are undetermined. The fact that some cities are making OPEN networks for public use shows that if a network is unsecured, you can join it anyway and its perfectly within the intent of the network owner that it operates as such.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #19
    I can understand that there is a lot of gray area in wifi, but I feel that is no reason to take advantage of it. But what really riles me is people who justify theft by blaming the incompetence of people who they're stealing off of.

    Now I think jacking a personal, residential wifi network simply because the person didn't think to protect it or that they tried but were unable to due to faulty software/hardware is wrong. Now people taking advantage of say the local coffee shop's free wifi connection is a different story and I can see arguments for and against it. Can you steal something being given away? In the end, it will probably be ruled, yes you can because it was not the intent of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts to be the ISP of non-customers to their establishment and are providing a service to their customers for their convenience and not the appartments across the street and that by joining their network, you are accepting an implied TOS of that you're a customer to the store. But until that is firmly placed in laws, I'll leave that up to people to decide if leaching off an establishment's free wifi is right or wrong.

    But purposely leaching off your neighbor's wifi is wrong and simply taking advantage of the situation because they have not explictily written that you cannot steal wifi from your neighbors is simply an excuse. But accidentally leaching off his wifi would be a different story as your intent may be to join a free, open network but accidentally or ignorantly joined their unprotected network by mistake.

    Part of the reason I wrote my original response is because I see the same argument applied to physical theft. I live on 85 acres of land that my parents own and much of it is wooded and so mushrooms grow on it. My parents like to eat mushrooms. Apparently so do our neighbors who trespass on our property and take our mushrooms for eating. They justify it because mushrooms grow in the wild or that they only took a few or it didn't look like we were wanting them because we hadn't picked them already. Some people have the mentality that if it is there and they can take it, then it is alright because it was somebody else's fault for not stopping them; laws or no laws.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    #20
    But I am being constantly inundated with your wifi signal. You've effectively dropped your house on me. :rolleyes:
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #21
    maedus, i can agree with the morality issue you are raising. But let me give a different example. If you walk up to my front porch, leave a six pack of beer that has no note, nothing that says "please don't drink this". Would you really expect to come back to my porch a say later and expect it to be there? That's basically what happens with wifi signals. if you don't secure them, by the very nature of the signal's trespass, you are asking for them to be used.
     
  22. macrumors member

    seriypshick

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Everywhere
    #22
    WiFi's are like libraries.

    Some libraries are free and for others you have to pay.
    Some are private and some are public.

    Now in public liibrary there's usualy a limit on how many books you can take home.
    Private libraries, however, are less restrictive. At the same time you have to pay.

    Same thing with WiFi.
    Some networks are free and for others you have to pay.
    Some are private(closed, password protected) and some are public(open, no-password).

    If you just do some light-weight stuff like e-mail or surfing the web you will be OK with open network.
    However if you're a hardcore web designer or pirate your best choice is your own private connection.
     
  23. tag
    macrumors 6502a

    tag

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    PA, US
    #23
    The more interesting question here is would you really drink a six pack of beer that has been mysteriously left at your doorstep with no note? ;)
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #24

    In my case? yes, no questions. :D
     
  25. d.f
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    #25
    so...this leads me to the this question

    i have just set up a wireless network in my house. ... (actiontect wireless router, plus airport express connecte to hi fi)

    how do i secure this so no-one can steal or borrow my connection..?

    any help appreciated.
     

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