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WiFi: New Revolution? Big Mistake?

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posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 02:41 PM
Currently companies world wide are rolling our wireless to hotspots around the nation. It is presumed to be the "Next Big Thing" in technology and has possibilities of massive proportions. But the question is, is WiFi all that its cracked up to be? Is it going to help us throughout our daily life or hinder us?

Wireless Technology with the rollout of new standards and increased range will soon be able to provide entire cities with the ability to communicate over a large area. IPv6 will be able to give almost everything in the world an address which can be used for many purposes. You will be able to track traffic patterns automatically so they can adjust stop lights to work more efficiently for the flows of traffic. Dating services can be created for people to meet up if they are in a specific area. You can integrate this into almost EVERY aspect of our daily lives.

Now do we really want to have such technologies and diverse communications integrated into every bit of our normal daily functions? I for one would love to have such wide possibilities at our fingertips and be able to use them in any way possible but there are some MAJOR fundamental concerns that follow. The number one concern I think would have to be security. I can put a network scanner up right now and find about 6 wide open wireless access points from my desk on the 4th floor of an office building. This immediately gives me a gateway into that persons network so I can look at employee records, personal files or whatever I need or am looking for at that time. This also is a gateway for me to step out of the realm of being tracked because its very very difficult to track anyone down when you can't trace a cable. I can just take my laptop and go sit outside, connect to a network and stage attacks from them while remaining completely anonymous.

We have a long way to go before security is tight but keeping all information accessible by the air definitely prompts some major concern.

What are you thoughts or suggestions?

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 03:12 PM
I think the security will improve with time. The software and protocols will become more secure and leave little room for misconfiguration.

It seems kinda pointless using wireless for some application that could have easily been run on a wire.

I'm one of the people more concerned about potential health effects related to these tiny wavelengths in the GHZ region that we know are very penetrating. They don't seem to stop finding uses for these wavelengths.

How long will it be before we're living in a virtual microwave oven, consisting of many small co-operative transmitters? Many of the reports I've read on health effects related to transmitter radiation exposure prove inconclusive. They know it's doing some form of damage, but just how much damage remains unknown.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 03:30 PM
You ever see Johnny Mnemonic? This was William Gibsons idea of having a world with too much technology. Maybe he's not too far off. One thing comes straight to my head. Autism has increased in children at an alarming rate. Maybe this is part of the problem?

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 04:08 PM
Wow, 6 open Wifi networks? Those people are very stupid. I thought every Wifi router came with WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) 128-bit or at least WEP 64-bit. Here in the Netherlands the government has beent thinking about television commercials about internet and wifi security, because most people simply are not interested.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:29 PM
The big problem beyond just open networks WEP is VERY easy to break. The first packet that is sent is in clear text which shows the WEP key, MAC address and any other viable information. So even 128bit encryption is easily broken. There are many different ways to secure your connection further such as WPA, EAP-TLS and LEAP but the only one that is really being supported on most devices is LEAP which is still pretty insecure. If you can sniff it you can break it, unless its encrypted.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 12:34 AM
When I go wardriving trough town here I pick up between 750 and 1000 WiFi hotspots, of wich 50% are as open as can be.

My main problem with overuse of wifi and other wireless tech is that its bad for the environment and for ourselves.

Has any of you ever had to sit near a cellphone antenna for a while?
Ever get a headache from it? Ever had computer problems because of it? Ever just got plain sick without knowing why, except that your close to one of them towers?

I'm a technology freak, but apart from being insecure still, I dislike wifi because of the impact it has on us and our environment.

Give me a fibre or UTP cable anyday.


posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 12:51 AM
How about not making me buy a new phone because of the spectrum.
And how many people will be going around the towns with Pringles cans.
What about fee's?Is a new tax going to be added to fund this?
It is convient to have hot spots,but what are the costs going to be to those who want to use them?
Greed in all areas is going to play into this before any secruity questions get brought up.Most will think because they have a firewall that there is no concern.Not all net users,or PC users for that matter are net/PC savvy.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 07:16 AM
Some of these physical / environment concerns are good to have but we really don't know just yet what the possible damages are out there. I think Cell technology is already testing that front though. If you think about it though running fiber all accross the world can cause a environmental impact as well. First of all you have to dig a nice big ditch to lay the fiber. Hard to reach regions and areas will possibily require more work and time and possible damage to the ecosystem of the area. Production of the material itself has an impact. The plastics, Kevlar, glass and in long haul circuits steel shielding can cause other issues.

In order to scan for a network you surely don't need a pringles can, you can just use your average everyday computer. You only want to get a better antenna when you are not able to get close enough for a good signal. Taxes will most likely be added to support this for a big part and it actually may progress iinto becoming a utility if the local govt sector gets enough control. But that would have to be handled by the local govt. for their best course of action.

What would be the best way to secure wireless in a rollout to such a large scale? This was one of the debate I was kinda trying to ensue. I think with the possible rollout of so many wireless devices is to keep internet based devices and utilitarian type wireless as seperate as possible. I was thinking of creating two or more seperate networks which can essentially be detached from the internet backbone to prevent an all out field day for the hackers who would like to choose amonymity.

posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 05:30 PM
...strange thread so far... to the OP, I think cables can be traced, any IP address has to establish itself to a paying address. This is why there's been cases of "arrests" and such w/ "stealing" wi-fi signals.

I've been using it in Phila for a couple months, it's been pretty fast and reliable IMO. Sometimes, it's around 200 k/sec, which seems pretty fast when downloading MP3s and the likes. Much faster then dial-up, almost as fast as DSL.

...I had problems for awhile w/ a signal at certain times of the day -- had a minor virus attacking it, and get this, Norton or MS 'Defender' didn't even recognize a "free web service" while it was there. Had to use some open-source software to get rid of the problem.

There's been local articles in the weekly papers about the service being unreliable, I don't agree, make sure you don't have spy/adware viruses!

And the point about the towers/technology issue, I don't think it's a "mistake" -- although some cell/internet towers are being moved due to regulations about their toxicity to occupied areas. I know in Europe, there's been lawsuits to have towers moved. Don't know what's been happening w/ this in the U.S.

[edit on 16-11-2007 by anhinga]


posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 07:14 PM
I wouldn't worry about the environmental impacts. It's in the microwave band so it's nothing that hasn't already been around for 14 billion years or so. However it's not exactly something I would want strapped to my head.

Back before WiFi was cool I built and maintained a city-wide 802.11b network and leased links as a cheap alternative to T-1s (there was no broadband yet). I didn't use WEP because even then it was pretty obvious there was no point. Back then it would take a couple days worth of data to extract the key. Now it takes about 30 seconds.

Instead I would disable essid broadcast and use static routes, IPs, and arp tables. I'd use IPsec for my bridges but not for client links. Basically someone would have to be looking for my specific access point, then clone the mac of the client router, then try to kill it so they could use its IP. And even then they would only have free Internet access. If they wanted into the client's network... well too bad they just killed their router. If they wanted into my network, they were in for an adventure.

Today I still use [WiFi] on occasion in my home, but I ran cables through the walls so I don't have to. The AP is usually turned off, but whenever I do use it I definitely do not conduct business or financial matters over it.

[edit on 16-11-2007 by apc]

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