There’s Nothing On My Network Worth Stealing

Many computer users feel that, because they don’t engage in high-fallutin’ top secret information, they don’t have much to offer an intruder.

Targets of intruders, though, are as difficult to predict as the closing price of next Tuesday’s light sweet crude trading. In fact, the possibilities are endless. And here’s just one way leaving your WAP unprotected – essentially running a Hotspot – could cause you pain.

Lawyer? Or Terrorist?
Parked outside your office within connection range sits Mr. Soren Marrwaakle, a Danish terrorist associated with the dreaded Copenhagen Resistance, which has sworn to destroy the American way of life. Soren drives around large cities seeking unprotected wireless connections just like yours.

Soren connects, through your unprotected WAP, to the Internet and thence his public, anonymous email account. After receiving from his cell the floor plans to a target building, he transmits back an email message to his handler, acknowledging receipt of the plans and passing on a recipe for low-fat brownies he got from

Has your firm just violated the Patriot Act? You know, the part which says you’re not allowed “…to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training…” [emphasis added]

Perhaps more to the point, do you wish to explain your views to the 33 FBI Agents in blue windbreakers who are at this moment milling about your conference room?

Sure, after only three days, by which time they’ve become mostly convinced of your innocence, 18 of the agents leave. But how much do you think it will eventually cost you in time, effort, resources and bad coffee to get the rest of them to go? How many of your clients will express delight upon learning that their lawyers are under Federal investigation for aiding a terrorist group?

And how will those pictures of guys in blue windbreakers carrying boxes out of your office look in the Times Union?

Also in this series…
A proposal for Reasonable Wireless Security for law firms

A sample network access policy

Wifi encryption standards

“There’s nothing on my desk worth stealing”

…and free hotspots for all