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war peddlaz

war peddlaz
By vortex, Section News
Posted on Tue Aug 28th, 2001 at 18:33:16 GMT
A critical mass of wireless pedallers war driving on bicycles is growing in East End London and beyond ...

Update [2002-2-11 19:31:38 by vortex]: get on your bike and ride! join the warpeddlaz list.


Laptop in back panier connects via serial port to a GPS unit mounted on handlebar. A Lucent range extender gaffer taped to backrack leads back to wireless card in laptop. Headphones lead out of laptop to head!

Run a quick bash script on linux or netstumbler on windows - and RIDE!

Mapped results of the war pedalling will be up on free2air RSN. In the meantime, London raw scan data from over 40 wireless networks scanned in one afternoon around London, some of which should definitely know better than to put them up with default configurations.

Call to Arms! Email War Peddlaz and join them in their ongoing campaign rides.

< ZOO - the story of newsfilter (1 comments) | war floaters (3 comments) >

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war peddlaz | 20 comments (20 topical, editorial, 0 pending)
Should people do this? none (#1)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Sep 16th, 2001 at 13:24:25 GMT

Is there any difference in posting this data and saying "Hey! 13 Main St leaves their door unlocked!"? Security through obscurity probably isn't a good strategy, and if someone really wants to do some nasty hacking stuff, they'll go find the way to do it, but, well, what do other people think?

Re: Should people do this? none (#2)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Sep 16th, 2001 at 15:38:32 GMT

Absolutely. Likening this scanning behavior to telling people who doesn't lock their house is kind of silly. After all, if I rob your television, you've lost something of value. If I hop on your unprotected wireless network and use your internet connection for a while, you've lost nothing but unused bandwidth. People who feel violated by this behavior often are trying to compare it to some sort of real-world crime, and we must refrain from doing that. We are borrowing unprotected resources--not assaulting, stealing, or causing damage. It's more like using the bathroom at McDonalds without purchasing anything.

Either way, if you do not want people using your wireless network, you should take measures to secure it. How else can you discern between friendly open networks, and private ones?

[ Parent ]

Re: Should people do this? none (#3)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Sep 16th, 2001 at 19:18:19 GMT

Your line of thought follows that of the average spammer:

    "This mail server is an 'unprotected'
    open relay. They aren't using all of
    their bandwidth or server capacity
    so they wouldn't mind if I used some..."

It is just as WRONG to steal physical objects from someone as it is to steal services (ie. bandwidth) that they pay for. Where has the conscience of the average person gone?


[ Parent ]

Re: Should people do this? none (#4)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Sep 17th, 2001 at 03:00:02 GMT

Sorry, I have to kinda agree with Mike on this one. Many companies (in the US, might be different overseas), pay for a limited amount of bandwidth (100MBps/day, 200MBps/day, etc). Using their bandwidth, protected or not, is theft. Ether is still ether. Sorry guys, I just don't agree with it. -J/Rod

[ Parent ]

Your address please? none (#5)
by jbrw on Mon Sep 17th, 2001 at 13:15:17 GMT
(User Info)

Can you leave your door unlocked and give me your address in case I need to go to your bathroom (or watch your TV) when I am in your neighbourhood? I promise not to steal anything or do something bad!

(Ofcourse, I might have a quick peek at your bank statements if they're not too well hidden and my curiosity gets the better of me...)


[ Parent ]

2.4 GHz is public none (#12)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Oct 30th, 2001 at 12:49:41 GMT

Listening to network traffic that goes via 802.11b cannot be compared to someone checking the frontdoor to see if it's locked or not.

The transmittions in 2.4GHz are public, you don't need any licens to transmit or receive and that's why 802.11 and wireless phones (not cell phones) uses this frequency. If someone are dumb enough to transmit sensitive data without encryption at this frequency I'm free to read it.

But I agree that "steeling" bandwidth is not a good thing to do, and it's presumably not legal. But it is worse than reading someones e-mails, maybe some rival company submitting a tender to a shared customer? That, my friend, are legal (at least in Sweden).

I would like to compare 802.11 with the amateur radio transmittions. Anyone can by a receiver and listen to Alice when she talks to Bob, that's why they don't tell secrets this way without talking in code.

Here in Sweden they used to scan the NMT-network (used by analogous cellphone) as an argument for using the new GSM-technology. You could walk right in to a store and the salesman would receive one part of a dialogue transmitted via NMT at the same time as he said "Do you want anyone to be able to listen to your phone calls like we do now? No? Then use this new GSM-device for just 1300 US$." And it was legal, however we could discuss the shameless price for the new cell phone.

If we do not keep yelling that some things are bad (not secure) people will consider them secure and they will be fucked by the government/crime-syndicate/competing companies.

When using wireless accesspoints you _must_ use

1. Network login - No access beyond AP if not logged in.
2. VPN - Encrypt your data or die. And this is not WEP. Use WEP and you'll die anyway. :)


[ Parent ]

wonder.. none (#6)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Sep 17th, 2001 at 14:03:18 GMT

hi! what kind of hardware are you using here? gimme specs! =) spesialy intrested in the Lucent range extender antenna. where can i buy it?? what does it cost?? and can i use it with my prism2 card ?? Her0?

Re: wonder.. none (#11)
by vortex (gro.ria2eerf@xetrov) on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 19:33:32 GMT
(User Info)

the gps unit is a garmin III+.

using lucent orinoco w/lan card, which has a 'pigtail' plug for an external antenna. not many prism2 chipset cards offer external antenna connectors.

use and recommend netstumbler for W2K, THC wardrive for Linux.

[ Parent ]

yes people should war drive. 5.00 (#14)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 11:56:03 GMT

The only way that the 'IT community' will learn is by some harsh lessons. It's like anything - you put a door on your house with no lock until some scum comes in and nicks your TV. Then you fit a lock to keep theiving scum out. On the w/lan front though, most IT people have the 'it'll never happen to me' mentality so they bung in an AP and leave it with defaults, just to have a play. Anyway, months later, a new toy comes to market and the old AP is forgotten about, but still connected. Any open AP's I find, I always make a note of the company, so I wont make the mistake of dealing with them. After all if they dont give a toss about IT network security, what are they gonna be like with customer data? oh and most of the prismII cards 'have' the facility to attach an external antenna. Just lever open the plastic case round the antenna. I did read in the netstumbler forum of one at have fun stumbling!! mutt_number_4 at hotmail.

[ Parent ]

Re: yes people should war drive none (#15)
by vortex (gro.ria2eerf@xetrov) on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 11:40:13 GMT
(User Info)

This diary entry explains a bit more on this, including a warpeddlaz disclaimer explaining that we scan only at the 802.11b level, with no IP network examination, or transmission.

[ Parent ]

Raw Data none (#7)
by aSeeker on Thu Sep 20th, 2001 at 22:43:40 GMT
(User Info)

The GPS positioning data is out somewhat unless you are cycling over the Royal Victoria Doc! Did you calibrate your start position?

Re: GPS calibration none (#9)
by vortex (gro.ria2eerf@xetrov) on Mon Oct 8th, 2001 at 19:24:40 GMT
(User Info)

From the beginning of our journey in this scan, we did not have good line of sight to the sky.Canary Wharf is fairly small, but relatively high rise.

The Garmin GPS III+ GPS unit requires line of sight sky visibility to 2-3 satellites before it can get a relaible fix.

We're not sure of when tin the ride the 2-3 successful satellites were detected.

If you have further information on how to calibrate - we're interested!



[ Parent ]

Unix programs / scripts none (#8)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Sep 28th, 2001 at 00:33:59 GMT

Where might I find examples of unix programs / scripts that do things similar to netstumbler?

URL none (#10)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Oct 15th, 2001 at 14:05:12 GMT They've got a package to do just this. Or a direct copy on PacketStorm -> BLKMGK

[ Parent ]

Re: Unix programs / scripts none (#13)
by vortex (gro.ria2eerf@xetrov) on Thu Nov 1st, 2001 at 08:36:52 GMT
(User Info)

[ Parent ]

West London none (#16)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Dec 15th, 2001 at 11:27:34 GMT

I notice all the free2air networks are between Bethnal Green and Hackney. Is this an east london thing only? :)

Oop North none (#17)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Apr 14th, 2002 at 18:44:58 GMT

Is anyone aware of any projects running in the N1/ N7/ NW1 area? Sorry if this is an obvious question - I haven't found the FAQs to read them! Newbie

[ Parent ]

North East England none (#18)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Oct 14th, 2002 at 13:54:57 GMT

A friend and I are going to have a drive round the north east and see what we can find. A large number of "good" universities up here and I'm sure we will find something. Then I can use the JANET network, mmm 10mbit minimum :)~

[ Parent ]

North East again none (#19)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Oct 14th, 2002 at 13:56:22 GMT

Out of interest, Anyone know of any 802.11b networks in the north east?

[ Parent ]

thanks123 none (#20)
by boa on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 21:10:20 GMT
(User Info)

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war peddlaz | 20 comments (20 topical, editorial, 0 pending)
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