AUSTIN -- Police have postponed "Operation Wardrive" while members of APD’s Digital Analysis Response Team (DART) work on details of the operation.
The operation was scheduled to take place on Thursday as an effort to educate the public about securing their wireless Internet connections. DART unit members were to make contact with residents who have open wireless connections and teach them the importance of securing them.
APD says wireless devices will be used to find the open networks. They say most manufacturers of wireless routers ship their devices with the wireless network unsecured by default, which leaves people at risk. They warn that Internet users who fail to secure their network are at risk of someone else using it or hacking into personal information.
Leaving your wireless network open invites a number of problems:
- You may exceed the number of connections permitted by your Internet service provider.
- Users piggy-backing on your internet connection might use up your bandwidth and slow your connection.
- Users piggy-backing on your internet connection might engage in illegal activity that will be traced to you.
- Malicious users may be able to monitor your Internet activity and steal passwords and other sensitive information.
- Malicious users may be able to access files on your computer, install spyware and other malicious programs, or take control of your computer.