By Matthew B. Stannard
Chronicle Staff Writer
August 18, 2008
Got it? You might want to try because that's the kind of password you'll
need if you really want your wireless network to be secure.
That's the word from Keith Maynard - who goes by the name Seric - and he
should know. Not only is he a longtime computer security guru - when he
isn't riding with the Vampire motorcycle club in Santa Cruz - Seric is
one of the original wardrivers, hobbyists who deck out their cars with
computers and sensitive antennas and go cruising the streets looking for
Wardriving got some bad ink earlier this month when federal prosecutors
announced indictments against an international ring of hackers who
allegedly used the technique to find poorly secured networks at several
East Coast restaurants and stores. Secret Service investigators said
Aug. 5 the thieves downloaded more than 40 million credit card numbers
from those networks, which they used or sold online, netting millions of
dollars and a condo in Florida.
But many wardrivers have nothing so nefarious in mind. Some just enjoy
the Easter egg hunt of finding networks. Others, like Seric, use
wardriving to draw attention to the scope of the emerging digital world.
Their hope is that they can persuade people to think about their own
wireless security by displaying the weakness they detect in articles, on
panels and to professional clients.
"Once you buy a tool, you need to learn how to use it correctly," Seric
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