By Brian Krebs
September 26, 2008
If you thought your wireless network was too remote or obscure to find,
you might want to think again. There's a non-trivial chance that the
name of your network and its precise geographic coordinates are already
mapped out and searchable by anyone with a Web browser.
At least for U.S.-based networks, probably the best place to find that
information is at the free database maintained by Wigle.net. The
Wireless Geographic Logging Engine is a Web site that maps data gathered
by "wardrivers," geeks who enjoy cruising around with open laptops
connected to global positioning system (GPS) devices in order to chart
the distribution of wireless networks.
WiGLE's database allows anyone to search for a wireless network by
geographic area or by the name of the service set identifier (SSID), the
moniker either manually or otherwise automatically assigned to all
wireless access points. Wireless routers broadcast their SSIDs as a way
of inviting users nearby to connect with the network.
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