I AM Really Free Now & NOT BORED!!!
This week concludes a very busy time and now I settle into a more relaxed phase of retirement, well at least for the next two months. My volunteer duties are suspended for the summer - YEA!!!
Oh, don't get me wrong, I love all the things I am involoved in, such as:
- Editor, Sarnia Computer User's Group
- Webmaster for Central United Church, Scouts, and Toastmasters.
- Computer Tech & Box Office - Imperial Oil Centre for the Performing Arts
This summer I have planned several trips, canoeing, camping, fishing, hiking, reading, writing, and simply enjoying the fact that I do not work for CN Rail anymore (CN Rail is for another Blog, especially now since June 8, 2006 the company has restricted all employees from taking retirement at age 55 and forcing them to work another 10 years till 65 - a move to kill off many of the older workers to beef up the pension plan? I planned my ESCAPE for five long years, and managed to take my commuted value and run. Like I said, another day I will write about this horrifying subject, maybe - maybe not. Maybe it is just time to move on and forget about that horrible place called CN Rail - good idea!
One thing I do plan to attempt is the art of hacking into computers. No, I am not interesting in getting someone's bank account, or debit card numbers. I am simply interested in the Wifi connections and the safety therein.
Since I use my Wifi connection while out-of-town (most weeks now), one of my concerns is how safe is my laptop and its information in wireless cafes? I am also interested in the "how-to" of hacking wireless systems.
My first move is downloading a program called: NetStumbler. I can see many people cringing right now as they read this, however the question remains: Is using a Wifi connection that is broadcasted to the public areas legal? Is it ok to use a broadcasted Wifi connection that you can easily connect to, because the owner of that system has chosen to not secure his/her wireless system?
"It's a gray area," said Paul Stamp, an analyst at the technology consultants Forester Research. "By not restricting access it could be argued that your're implicitly making that available." (source CNN)
Obviously, those who do not concern themselves of security, it is quite possible that they are simply allowing visitors like me to free use of their Wifi connections as a "good neighbour" gesture?
I am not a computer cop. I am not a thief either, and I do not intend to use this information in any way that will compromise anyones data. I merely want to learn how the bad guys hack into wireless systems so I can better prepare my own systems. And I will use open Wifi accesses.
Of course, I must admit, this subject does interest me from a James Bond type of aspect. George Orwell is smiling.
I will report on my findings this summer...all the easy Wifi hotspots I come across and I intend to write an article about the necessity of securing your Wifi signal, unless of course you are of the "good neighbour" type who simply offer Wifi to anyone who may be seeking such a service.
NOTE: If you do not want anyone using your wireless computer system SECURE IT.
If you do not know how to do this, do a Google search on your Wifi router, look it up in the Help section of your wireless router, or call the 1-800 number provided by the company from which you purchased your wireless router. If not, well, BEWARE.