TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Growth of Wireless Internet Opens New Path for Thieves

Growth of Wireless Internet Opens New Path for Thieves

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 19 Mar 2005 09:57:52 -0500

March 19, 2005

The spread of the wireless data technology known as Wi-Fi has reshaped
the way millions of Americans go online, letting them tap into
high-speed Internet connections effortlessly at home and in many
public places.

But every convenience has its cost. Federal and state law enforcement
officials say sophisticated criminals have begun to use the unsecured
Wi-Fi networks of unsuspecting consumers and businesses to help cover
their tracks in cyberspace.

In the wired world, it was often difficult for lawbreakers to make
themselves untraceable on the Internet. In the wireless world, with
scores of open Wi-Fi networks in some neighborhoods, it could hardly
be easier.

Law enforcement officials warn that such connections are being
commandeered for child pornography, fraud, death threats and identity
and credit card theft.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: To read the full New York Times on line
each day with no login or registration requirements, please login to where several
publications -- in addition to nytimes -- are updated continually
around the clock, 24/7. PAT]

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