[Gllug] WEP security experiences

Peter Ball CFL at marguet-ball.net
Wed Jun 20 10:13:03 UTC 2007

> The Computer Misuse Act talks about access to "a computer" which is
> "unauthorised".  Is a wireless access point a computer?  Is accessing
> it unauthorised if it is continually sending out beacons and protected
> with encryption which is known to be ineffective (or in the case
> above, is completely open)?
> Richard Jones

I wouldn't like my freedom depending on the ability to prove that a router is not a computer:

	"Computer: .. device for storing and processing data ..
	according to instructions given to it in a variable program."
		The Concise Oxford Dictionary 1990

They all have processors, operating systems, stored memory, programs input/output 
systems - for that matter lots of them run versions of Linux.

Even weak and ineffective encryption would logically be taken as a fairly good indication 
that the owner of the system regards the "protected" system or data as private and trying to 
prove other wise in a court of law would very probably be a futile exercise.

However, an totally open access point should logically be reasonably fair game so long as 
you don't hack anything else.  In reality at the wrong time and place getting found doing 
even this can obviously be quite risky.
Peter Ball
Computers For Linguists
peter.ball at marguet-ball.net
Tel:    +44(0)20 7732 1741
Fax:    +44(0)20 7358 9214
Mobile: +44(0)77 1968 2913
45 Endwell Road, London, SE4 2PQ, United Kingdom

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