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WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security

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The term WarDriving originates from WarDialing, a term introduced to the public by Matthew Broderick's character, David Lightman, in the 1983 movie "WarGames." WarDialing is the practice of using a modem attached to a computer to dial an entire exchange of telephone numbers to locate any computers with modems attached to them. WarDriving employs the same concept, although it is updated to a more current technology; wireless networks. A WarDriver drives around a geographical location to determine all of the wireless access points in that area. Once these access points are discovered, a WarDriver uses a software program or Web site to map the results of his efforts. Based on these results, a statistical analysis is performed. This statistical analysis can be of one drive, one area, or a general overview of all wireless networks. WarDriving became more well known when the process was automated by Peter Shipley, a computer security consultant in Berkeley, California. During the fall of 2000, Shipley conducted an 18-month survey of wireless networks in Berkeley, California and reported his results at the annual DefCon hacker conference in July of 2001. This presentation, designed to raise awareness of the insecurity of wireless networks that were deployed at that time, laid the groundwork for the true WarDriver.

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