Thursday, July 21, 2011

Protect Your Wireless Connection

[Promoting Defensive Computing is like nagging children to eat their vegetables. So, when a story hits the news with details of the absolute worst case scenario, it's a teaching moment.

Although the case of Barry Ardolf hacking his neighbors Wi-Fi network has been known about for a while, it's being reported on again because Ardolf was just sentenced to 18 years in prison. His story should scare people into verifying that their wireless network is as secure as possible.

Things started in August 2008 when Matt and Bethany Kostolnik moved into a house near Minneapolis, Minnesota. The day after they moved in, their 4-year-old son wandered into the yard of the house next door to climb on a play-set. The next door neighbor, Barry Ardolf, returned the child, but while doing so, kissed him on the mouth.

Needless to say, the parents reported this to the police and Ardolf then spent two years getting revenge. According to prosecutors the incident
... caused the defendant to begin a calculated campaign to terrorize his neighbors, doing whatever he could to destroy the careers and professional reputations of Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, to damage the Kostolniks’ marriage, and to generally wreak havoc on their lives.
In large part, he did this by hacking into their Wi-Fi network.]

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