Wardriving Police

It was recently reported that police in Queensland would start 'wardriving' around select Queensland towns as part of a public service to educate residents and small businesses on the dangers of running unsecured wireless networks.

This is not the first time this has happened, back in 2006 the Douglas County, Colorado Sheriff's department started doing the same thing. I couldn't find any information on how well it went, or if they are still doing it to this day. There didn't seem to be any information on their website. I have emailed them to ask if they're continuing the practice.

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, education is part of law enforcement, just as educating the users in your business can assist in securing your network and your data. On the other hand I imagine there is normally enough 'real crime' to keep generally overworked police busy, and I doubt the general public even want to hear the message. Public service announcements about drinking and driving, smoking and speeding haven't slashed the instances of those three things and they will kill you!

Manufacturers providing home wireless routers that force a password change during install and have security (encryption) turned on by default thereafter would probably do more good than the police and public service announcements. The average home user doesn't want to think about computer security, they just want it their new toy to work., just like their TV and DVD player did when they plugged them in.

Despite society getting more tech-savvy, your average consumer doesn't want to have to get a degree in computer science or an MCSE to set up a printer. They have a hard enough time moving from Windows XP to Windows Vista.

All in all, providing it doesn't take away from more important policing, I think more education is a good thing and at least they're trying something different up north.

Hopefully I'll hear back from the Douglas County Sheriff's office and find out if they had much success....

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