Open University HK takes warflying to new heights

Open University HK takes warflying to new heights
Open University HK takes warflying to new heights 

By John C.Tanner  
Computerworld Hong Kong
7 juni 2007

Academic researchers from Hong Kong and California took Wi-Fi 
war-driving -- and war-flying -- to new levels on Monday by test-driving 
a new technique for surveying wireless broadband security and 

Intended as a trial run for an annual Wi-Fi survey project in July led 
by Dr Philip Tsang of the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK), Monday's 
experiment saw two teams -- one from OUHK and another from Stanford 
University -- collaborate to not only detect Wi-Fi access points in 
Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, but also to divine extra data about the 
APs themselves.

The war-drive also tested the connectivity speeds of HSDPA signals 
around the city in cooperation with SmarTone-Vodafone.

At the heart of the experiment was new software developed by Christopher 
White of Stanford University and CEO of White's Consulting, OUHK CT212F 
student Casper Lau and OUHK tutor Jack Mak.

The software enables mobile computers in a roving van and helicopter to 
detect Wi-Fi Aps as well as to determine geographic data via GPS and to 
distinguish between corporate, residential, educational or commercial 
hot spots.

The software is also designed to account for Hong Kong's urban canyon 
topography via algorithms that give the app "more of a 3D perspective to 
counter the effects like shadowing that you get with lots of tall 
buildings around," said Stanford team leader Professor Bebo White.

Results of the test run won't be available until later in the week, 
although Christopher White said the software test was a success.

One early result of note is that the street-level wardrive detected over 
11,000 hot spots -- compared to just under 4,700 detected in OUHK's last 
war-flying survey in October 2006.

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