Tracking down insecure WLANs

Wednesday, 23 October 2002, 1:39 PM EST

Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, if you have a laptop and a wireless card, you can join dozens of other technophiles with time on their hands in searching out insecure WLANs.

A group of security professionals and enthusiasts later this week will kick off the second WorldWide WarDrive, a week-long coordinated effort to identify wireless LANs and assess their security levels. The first event, held in late Aug. through early Sept., drew participants from 10 states and six countries.

The second wardrive starts Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 2.

War driving is the practice of canvassing a given neighborhood or city in search of WLANs. Practitioners typically cruise an area, armed with a notebook PC or handheld with a WLAN card and a software program, such as NetStumbler or Kismet, that listens for signals sent out by WLAN access points.

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