Tuesday

Tuesday 17/09/2002News comes in from the US where a publicity-minded chap with a wireless networking company has been stealing customers from Starbucks. Michael Oh, whose surname is remarkably close to James Bond's Q, kitted out a car with a WiFi network hub and a link back to base.

Tuesday 17/09/2002
News comes in from the US where a publicity-minded chap with a wireless networking company has been stealing customers from Starbucks. Michael Oh, whose surname is remarkably close to James Bond's Q, kitted out a car with a WiFi network hub and a link back to base. By parking next to Starbucks, he provided a free alternative access point and got 'a couple of customers'. Nothing illegal, and Starbucks shouldn't worry too much: the car only works within a kilometre of the networking company's HQ and the sheer expense makes it impracticable for anything other than getting your name around the place. It does open up the possibility that those young warchalking dudes who plod the streets looking for open wireless connectivity may be getting more than they expect. I relay this story later in the day to a pal who's just set up his own 802.11b wireless network, the only one in his street. "I was thinking of putting it behind a firewall of its own", he said, "and leaving some chalk symbols outside the house. Wait for the idiots to try and log in and... blammo!" He smiled at that point. I didn't ask what blammo meant, but I reckon that all their laptops belong to him. In fact, you could probably put the entire kit to lure the hapless into the saddlebag of a pushbike. Take one notebook running software that looks like a server containing tasty files, equip it with a WiFi adaptor and peddle into some public place. You could get points for every illicit connection made, with bonuses for extracting data from their hard disks while they're trying to get yours. The knock-out blow would be to let the hackers believe they got information leading them to some great treasure, whereas it really gets them into some place where you and a load of pals in police uniforms can spring out and yell "Surprise!" It'll give the country dwellers something to do when fox hunting's banned, that's for sure.