back to article Queensland Police go war driving

The Hi Tech Crime Investigation Unit* of Queensland's ever-vigilant Police force will shortly spend some of its valuable time driving around Brisbane, the fair tropical state's Capital, looking for open WiFi connections, the better to inform citizens about the terrible dangers that may flow from signal slurping. Detective …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    ....haven't they been doing this for a couple of years already?

    1. Skydreamer

      Re: Err....

      Well it would seem they need to do it again -- it's been 3 years since the last sweep after all.

      In my street I've noticed that over the years the open wi-fi networks have all been secured, so I guess Detective Superintendant Hay's comments back then have been taken to heart.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Err....

      Here on the UK there's been a marked reduction mainly down to the fact that most people use what their service provider gives them and they usually come with built in security and passwords.

      It is a shame that out of my known 15 WiFi hot spots when going home from work only 8 are still viable.

  2. NozeDive

    Queensland Police spell it “Hi” not “High”...

    ...Is that where the beverage name "Hi-C" came from?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Queensland Police spell it “Hi” not “High”...

      They just can't spell. They even spell 'beer' as 'XXXX'.

      Fortunately they make xxxx better than the spell it, XXXX is my preferred standard-grade xxxx.

      And I'm even from NSW.

      Next up, QLD police will tell us all about the dangers of REEFERS!

      Fear & loathing in Sydney.


      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: Queensland Police spell it “Hi” not “High”...

        XXXX is cat piss.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          XXXX - Nectar of The Gods!

          > XXXX is cat piss.

          Correction: Cats drink XXXX then piss in bottles which are branded Becks, Corona, Amstel, Bass, Heinecken, Budweiser, etc, and exported to countries whose taste is in their collective arses.

  3. graingert

    Mac address filtering is security theatre

    Mac address filtering is security theatre, mac addresses are easily spoofed and just make it harder to set-up new devices

  4. Big Al

    Had a wonderful image there of the Hi Tech Crime Investigation Unit investigating sneaker theft...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Couple of things not mentioned but standard good practice (old wives tales?).

    Add spaces to the key (I believe this extends time to dictionary brute force but is easy to remember).

    If you leave the router powered (as we are warned to by BT to "Avoid speed loss" - Oh screw the planet) have a wireless schedule, DD-WRT allows this to the hour and for many households and companies it makes sense, why exactly does the WIFI need to be on 3AM?

    On 2.4G use channel 13 if you can as it takes the WIFI off the Radar for older hardware.

    Use single band 5G for same reason, it seems to stay in the confines of the house better too.

    Reduce interference - Don't have either end of the wireless link beside DECT phones, Plasma TV's, switching power supplies to avoid the high noise level forcing you need to crank up the power and therefore increase the risks and interfere with neighbours wifi - who crank up the power etc.

    If you don't need 150/300Mb reduce the channel use on 2.4G by dropping to a lower value, it can end up more reliable and reduces the WIFI arms race. Sometimes picking 56G and one fixed channel can give a link that stays solid all evening (if a bit slower) rather than dropping out every five minutes depending on who ends up with what channel and how much they are currently streaming.

    Sorry geeky response ...I'll get my...

    1. Frank Bitterlich

      Good practice?

      I hope that post was meant to be sarcastic.

      On 2.4G use channel 13 if you can as it takes the WIFI off the Radar for older hardware.

      Sure, as the bad guys are known to go wardriving using ten-year old laptops.

      Add spaces to the key (I believe this extends time to dictionary brute force but is easy to remember).

      If you have a key so simple that a space adds to the entrophy, better leave your network open. OTOH, if you see a van parking in front of your house and hear hysterical laughter coming from it, you know your network has just been pwned.

    2. steve876
      Thumb Down

      12 Characters

      As long as you're using WPA or better still WPA2, with a network key 12 characters long containing upper-case, lower-case, numbers and special characters, you're safe. A key of this length is totally uncrackable by most people/groups and would take much more than a lifetime to crack even with access to a supercomputer array. There's absolutely no need for an unwieldy key of 20+ characters, let alone 63!

      The problem is that many ISPs don't give out very secure keys. For example (but by no means limited to) Sky. Their old G routers had SSIDs that started with SKY, and provided network keys of 8 upper-case alphas. Anyone seeing a network named SKYxxxxx, would then know that its network key is made up of 8 upper-case alphas, thus making it relatively easy to crack. Not very many people know they can log into their router's config, let alone how to change their network key! I can see several Sky networks in my neighbourhood, all of which are using older G routers with WPA security, the owners of which haven't switched to WPA2 since new firmware was released last year allowing this superior protocol.

      Powernumpty, shhhhhhh about channel 13 !!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cops, free wi-fi access.

    This from the guys that hang out at McDonalds all day...

    Do you want wi-fries with that?

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