Can spammers really exploit wireless networks?

Wednesday, 8 September 2004, 12:23 PM EST

A US citizen is thought to have become the first person to be accused of hacking a wireless network in order to send spam.

Nicholas Tombros, 37, is charged under the US CAN-SPAM act, which aims to clamp down on unsolicited junk mail. Prosecutors allege that Tombros used a laptop to sniff out insecure residential wireless access points in a Los Angeles suburb, before using them to send spam across the internet. He faces a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment.

According to reports this week, a plea bargain is being negotiated. If Tombros is convicted or pleads guilty then 'war spamming' - also known as drive-by spamming - will move from being just a theoretical possibility to a genuine threat.

By Graeme Wearden at Silicon.

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