Police in Douglas County, Colorado (right down the street from Spamroll) are going to start wardriving for the purpose of warning open wireless device hosts of impending danger.
I wish I could properly spell out what a complete waste of time and money this is, but I guess some bureaucrat thought it was a good idea. The problem with wireless hacks is not the open device, but the devices behind them that lack security of their own. Need it defined further? If you run a wireless computer behind a network in administrator (or root) mode, it really doesn’t matter whether you have WEP (the only really easy wireless encryption that everyday folks employ) running on that hub/router. Someone is going to get you if they want to.
You really have a few choices here, all of which are employed behind the Spamroll poster’s network. First, DON’T RUN IN ROOT OR ADMINISTRATOR MODE!!!!! Of course, this is difficult for Windows users, as Windows loves setting default users for admin. Unlike UNIX-like systems, Windows thinks this is an easy way out. Unfortunately, it is also an easy way in for hackers. For securing your network (in this case, to prevent the sheriff’s office from bugging the shit out of you), rename your little Linksys or Netgear router from the factory default “linksys” or “netgear” to some obscure name (and don’t be a moron and use your dog’s name either – unless you don’t ever walk said dog and/or wave to your neighbors and let them pet said pup). Next, set your router to NO BROADCAST of that little thing called SSID. You can type the name of your network directly into your computer to connect, and by not broadcasting SSID nobody can actually see your network to begin with. Also, use something besides WEP (which is well known for being a 30 second hack). Use WPA or WPA2 encryption, which exchanges new encryption keys every few hours. Beyond being tougher to crack, by the time the hacker does make it in, the key has changed and they have to start over.
As I said, best results for keeping the knocks at your door to a minimum is the no broadcast option – after that the rest is up to you. I use no broadcast, WPA2, and frequent handshakes (every two hours) to keep my gear away from prying eyes parked on the corner. Added are no running in admin (or root) mode, and running device firewalls in “stealth” mode (no detection of internal devices is the result). If someone wants in after that, I always have the unleashed collie dog and a can of moldy yogurt to throw on the windshield of that friendly wardriver’s car.
Then, tell Douglas County bureau-nuts to quit wasting your money and read Spamroll instead – a public service message should do the trick as far as getting the word out.