zen.org Communal Weblog

February 23, 2005

How greedy

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:47 IST

We’re on a holiday trip with some family members, and the place we’re staying lets you use the Net via a cable modem. So ever in pursuit of a hack, I got a linksys wireless router and hooked it up so we could all share the connection wirelessly. As an experiment, I left it unencrypted (we’re not billed for bandwidth) to see how many people would discover it and want to partake.

Up until today, it’s been a non-issue. But since this morning, we found the bandwidth slow to a crawl. None of us were doing any big transfers. (And this nearly 4Mbit link can get an awful lot before you start to feel it.) So I looked at the DHCP logs, and saw two IP addresses that were out of the range being assigned automatically. Hmmm. Turns out those two addresses were doing, together, long unending transfers. For hours on end. Sigh.

So much for that; up went the WEP (no WPA yet), and down went my hopes that people would enjoy the freeness of it but not abuse it. I know WEP won’t stop them if they’re really trying, but I expect there are easier targets now. Some jerk or jerks ate it up. Oh well, maybe I’ll try this experiment again sometime.

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