back to article Put down that shotgun: Wi-Fi's the way to beat Zombies

When the zombie apocalypse strikes, your saviour will be 802.11x, not Rick Grimes, hacker Tim Fowler says. While holed-up in an apartment block, survivors could locate nearby smart phones detected by their wireless mesh network of CreepyDOL sensors fortuitously purchased before the outbreak. The sensors would reveal MAC …

  1. Ralph B

    Here's Hoping

    Here's hoping the zombies remember to keep their phones charged.

    (Although users of #RIVALPHONEPLATFORM have managed so far, eh? Eh? Eh?)

    1. SuperTim

      Re: Here's Hoping

      I was thinking that exact issue. Though lack of usage will extend battery life, modern smartphones in the pockets of zombies will run flat in a matter of 2 days...therefore no wifi signal to process.

      Unless, due to them being zombies, they actually still automatically respond to the usual stimulii and pack out the nearest apple/samsung/*"insert name of most recent fashion label" shop when the next launch is due, to update to a newer device, all nicely charged and set up by a shop specialist bod (who they will NOT bite for fear of not getting their new shiny-shiny.

      Personally, I will do a "Shaun of the dead" and wander like an undead, moaning occasionally (about the lack of 4g coverage).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        regular 15 minute spikes for email checking

        Not if it's tethered to my laptop - lucky to get 15 seconds of quiet between checks for updates, attempts to reconnect some stale network share that probably fell with the Roman Empire, some web page reloading an advert, something somewhere forcing a browser election, some media player fishing for DLNA so that it can blurt incompatibly...my zombie detection algorithm is to look for the ones not aghast at the frittering away of their data allowance (might accidentally whack a few flash city gents this way but I can live with that)

      2. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

        Re: Here's Hoping

        Personally, I will do a "Shaun of the dead" and wander like an undead, moaning occasionally (about the lack of 4g coverage).

        If there,s one thing I learnt from Shaun of the Dead then it,s "start at the Winchester" - no need to do the zombie walk

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This is the wild west of 802.11 where I can track people legally."

    Just because the man selling the technology says it's legal, doesn't mean it actually is legal.

  3. frank ly

    When I leave the house ...

    ... I turn off the Wi-Fi with a little widget on the start screen. I do this because I don't want my battery draining as the phone pumps out Wi-Fi power looking for a connection. I also don't turn on mobile data unless I want to use it, for similar power saving reasons. It really does make a difference.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: When I leave the house ...

      Oh dear - Frank is a zombie and doesn't even realize it...

      1. frank ly

        Re: When I leave the house ...

        Braaaaiiiins !

        1. Robert Helpmann??
          Coat

          Re: When I leave the house ...

          Braaaaiiiins !

          See, that is how you can tell Zombies' phones from those of humans: they only text this one thing over and over. Besides, the biggest take-away from most zombie shows is that your fellow surviving humans are the biggest danger, not the undead.

          Sorry, gotta get my coat and go. The zombies are at the door.

    2. Anon5000

      Re: When I leave the house ...

      Some devices and software versions still use the wifi and generate traffic with ssid info after you turn off wifi.

      Far from a complete list of phones and versions that do and don't broadcast wifi after being switched off: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14uMLtGAqHDlP505OEnkWbqRpyzO_FyPG72zBkinL26Q/edit?pli=1#gid=397346818

      CSV versions for those allergic to google docs: https://www.eff.org/files/2014/07/02/ssid_leaking_devices.txt

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just US retail chains...

    A large UK retail chain is already doing this. They didn't give their customers free wifi for fun.

    A large network vendor is working on access points with a dozen or so directional antenna to help companies do this sort of thing more accurately.

    Data is usually fairly anonymous and helps with things like floor planning and product placement optimisation so you can put your tin foil hats away.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shaun of the Dead

    Ed's plan is the plot of the rest of the movie...

    "we'll have a bloody mary (girl in garden), bite at the kings head (Phillip is bitten) couple (David an Di) at the little Princess (Liz), an stagger (pretending to be zombies) to the bar for shots (shooting zombies in the pub). "

  6. tony2heads
    Pint

    linkage

    I often see people wandering around supermarkets like zombies.

    If in Cardiff they also want BRAINS (the local beer!)

    http://www.sabrain.com/beers

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iOS MAC scrambling flawed?

    Can he back that up, or just trying to avoid the fact that he can no longer track iPhones, and the same will probably soon be true of Android?

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