Stealing Wireless Networks Brings Prison

By | December 8, 2005

Police have arrested a Florida man for using St. Petersburg resident’s wireless network without permission. This happens to be one of the first cases involving fairly common practice in the United States.

Benjamin Smith III, 41, faces a pretrial hearing this month following his April arrest on charges of unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony. The charge applies to all varieties of computer network breaches and carries a potential sentence ranging from probation to three years in prison.

Use of other people´s unsecured wireless networks is common, though experts say that plenty of illegal use also goes undetected: such as stealing personal information, credit card information and many others.

Security experts say that individuals and corporations using wireless connectivity should block unauthorized access by using firewalls and provide WEP enabled connections. Any sensitive data should be kept encrypted away from the wireless network to prevent data theft.

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