wireless on the train --- security.... what's that?

A few weeks ago I got an alpha version of our iwi driver --- for my Intel Centrino 2200bg adapter. There's a GPL'd driver available via SourceForge btw. While the developers only call it alpha, I've been using it with our Sun-on-Sun vpn solution for quite some time with absolutely no problems. Anyway, this morning on the train up to the office I figured I'd see whether I could see any hotspots. Lo and behold, I could! One looked like the one attached the mac user sitting 5 rows away and had no security on it, the other was I think downstairs in the train but did have security. [We have double-decker trains in Sydney :-( ] It got me thinking --- why do people ignore security, especially with wireless? I was able to connect to that person's network (not that I did anything apart from that of course!) and theoretically I could have purloined that person's files. If that person didn't know about security logfiles or event logs, they could have absolutely no idea what had happened. Do yourself a favour: if you're going to setup your own little wireless AP, at least set up some password control on connections, and preferably start using 128bit WEP as a minimum. Do you know who has access to your data? Are you sure?
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I work at Oracle in the Solaris group. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

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