2004.10.20

As you learned in Wifi Adventure #1 we have entered the wireless age, and what an age it is!

Since we achived wirelessness, we had to test it. But wait, we have to go back in time first. How can we get to where we are now without going to where we were then? Hmmm?

Weeks earlier, I asked the local wifi expert a few questions, and got a few answers. He suggested I use WEP to secure my wireless network. I know, some people maintain open nodes, and we all say a big “thanks” to those people, good work all! I was not overly concerned about securing the access point, but figure I’d look into it. I’m not sure of the range of the WAP11, but behind me is a park, and I’m 99% sure 3 closest neighbors have neither wifi or even computers, I know the people across the street have no wifi gear, I assume I am teh most 13373 h4x0r around these parts, but still, there might be a nerd or geek lurking somewhere right? Oh yeah…

So when I set up the access point I still had no way to connect to it. I ran a port scan and found an unfamiliar IP address. What!? Is someone already using my access point? No, turns out it was Virtual PC running on my Mac… Whew…

As we all know those fine folks at Linksys give a default name to their gear, hence you might see a wireless network named ‘linksys’ while out and about. Well, I’m no dummy, I changed the default name on my access point. (See where this is going?)

So I’m testing the new Belkin 802.11b Wireless USB Network Adapter, and I finally figure out the software that controls it, and I see my access point, with the name I gave it. Then another wireless network appears, one named ‘linksys’ and at first I think it’s some odd error, or my access point is screwy, and then I realize, it ain’t me!

Yes, that’s right, I’ve found another wireless access point while in my own house. I know, this is not news, this is a non-story, except for the fact that if you have been to my house, and met my neighbors, you too would be as surprised as I was.

Well, I’ve always been the curious hacker-type, so I try to jump on this ‘linksys’ network, and it works! I’m on… Ok, a bit more… Ah, looks like they are using a Linksys Wireless Router, as I was able to log into it at 192.168.1.1 with – yes, you guessed it – the default password ‘admin’ – I kid you not…

Ah, I feel just like one of those 414er’s – except they changed our area code from 414 to 262 many years ago. :(

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