Remember the Florida veterinarian who caught the wardriver jacked into his wireless Internet access outside his home? Has Aunty impressed upon you strongly enough yet that wardriving is serious, and wardriving can happen to you?
But what if it’s already happened? What if it’s too late? What if your wifi access point as already been discovered by wardrivers, and added to their wifi access point map engine?
“Their what, Aunty?!” you ask.
Oh c’mon, you knew it had to happen. And it has (and quite some time ago, by all accounts).
WiGLE is the “Wireless Geographic Logging Engine”, and they “consolidate location and information of wireless networks world-wide to a central database, and have user-friendly java, windows, and web applications that can map, query and update the database via the web,” according to their website.
That sounds a bit less ominous in that nice techie language, so let Aunty give it to you straight: they map wireless networks which have been discovered by wardrivers.
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And right now they have mapped an astounding 2.8 million wireless networks worldwide. You read that right. Two point eight million wireless networks are in the WiGLE database.
Now, these aren’t necessarily all open networks, and Aunty is not suggesting that WiGLE is doing anything wrong. In fact hey, if your network is listed in their database, and your network is open, well, it’s not their fault that your network is open, is it?
WiGLE offers an online map lookup function with which you can enter a street address, or a city, state, or region, and it will return a map showing all of the local wifi access points mapped to date. In addition to pinpointing any wireless networks found and mapped, the information returned will include other available information such as the network’s SSID. In Aunty’s area alone, at a big intersection, Aunty counted more than two dozen identified networks, some with what are probably telling SSIDs such as “Eggbert”, “Nomansian”, and “PublicJeff”.
Aunty’s strong recommendation to you is that you go to the WiGLE map page, and see whether your network is listed. WiGLE claims that if you find your network listed in their database, and don’t want it to be, that they’ll remove it immediately upon request. The WiGLE map is here.
And then of course secure that network if you haven’t already.
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