An Incredibly Stupid Wardriver

11/26/2003 Toronto Canada Wi-Fi hacker caught downloading child porn

Toronto police stopped Walter Nowakowski for driving the wrong way down a one way street during the early morning hours. Walter had his pants around his ankles, and he was watching a child porn video that he had just downloaded from the Internet, using a hijacked wireless connection from a nearby house.

Following his arrest, Police searched Nowakowski’s home when they recovered 10 computers along with thousands of CDs and floppy disks suspected to contain child porn images.

Walter was doing 4 things at the same time.

  1. He was wardriving.
  2. He was driving the vehicle himself.
  3. He was watching what he was downloading, while he was driving.
  4. He had his pants off, because he was enjoying what he was doing so much.

Walter got caught by the police for doing none of the above. Nor did he get caught for being a collector of child porn.

Walter got caught because he found doing all of the above so incredibly easy, that he paid no attention to what he was doing, and drove the wrong way down a one-way street.

If the FBI (or the Canadian equivalent) went knocking on somebody’s door and seized equipment that was used in downloading child porn (the FBI has been doing just this), Walter would not have been the one on whose door they would have knocked.

The FBI would have been knocking on the door of the people who provided Walter his Internet service. And those people would have been aware of it only after the FBI got there.

The people providing Walter his Internet service, very likely, have no idea how lucky they were that Walter was so stupid. Since Walter was arrested during the early morning hours, it’s likely that everybody was still asleep. Even if any of the inhabitants in the area saw Walter being arrested, or read about it in the newspaper, how likely is it that somebody thought “Gee, maybe that’s why my wireless router was so busy?”. Yeah right.

Imagine what the smart wardrivers can do? Folks, please, if you’re going to have a wireless LAN, Protect Your WLAN from idiots like Walter. And use a Layered Defense on all computers on your LAN – not just the ones connected wirelessly.

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