Friday, November 06, 2009

Unauthorised access? There's an app for that

APPLE IS benefiting from sales of a piece of software that provides free access to up to 250,000 home broadband networks without the owners’ knowledge.

The software for Apple iPhones, called “dessid”, which costs €1.59, exploits a flaw in the hardware Eircom provided to its broadband customers and which first came to light in September 2007.

The problem occurred because each Eircom customer’s wireless network broadcast a unique eight-digit code as its network name. The password was derived from these digits.
To my mind, the real issue behind this Irish Times story is not that you can buy an app which allows you to piggyback on the wifi of Eircom customers (there's a handy web page that will still work even if Apple pulls the program from the app store) - instead it's that Eircom have agreed to disconnect users accused of filesharing, despite knowing full well that their own wireless modems are insecure and that people will be wrongfully disconnected as a result.

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