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Wardrivers Target Seattle Businesses 138

angry tapir writes "Seattle police are investigating a group of criminals who they say have been cruising around town in a black Mercedes stealing credit card data by tapping into wireless networks belonging to area businesses. The group has been at it for about five years, according to an affidavit signed by Detective Chris Hansen, a fraud investigator with the Seattle Police Department."
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Wardrivers Target Seattle Businesses

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  • by karl.auerbach ( 157250 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:45PM (#35911742) Homepage

    It would be easy to set up a weakly protect access point that did nothing but generate bogus transactions with bad credit card numbers - that could pollute the crook's database, particularly if they don't do a good job of recording of which card number came from which network.

    And if the bogus numbers were timestamped and logged then when the bad card numbers are used (and bounced) one could use the bounced transactions to build a map of where the crooks were on any given day.

  • No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:54PM (#35911782)

    We discovered that the company below us a few years back (here in Seattle) had not only an open wifi but also had all of their drives shared. We immediately went down stairs and warned them after one of us accidentally connected to their wifi and saw a whole bunch of computers (with official sounding names even) pop up in the file explorer.

    Their reaction? "Whatever." They never put a password on it. I was actually surprised by their disinterest in locking down when alerted. Even after we told them that people could just drive by and steal all their company records... so stupid.

  • by Posting=!Working ( 197779 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:56PM (#35911796)

    I can't afford a Mercedes tho

    It was a 1988 Mercedes. The laptop and antenna might have cost more than the car.

  • Criminal negligience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ndogg ( 158021 ) <the DOT rhorn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:00PM (#35912050) Homepage Journal

    Firstly, let's be clear, I want the people stealing the information caught, and locked up. They are criminals.

    The business should be fined though if they did nothing to protect their information. This is like leaving a toddler at home alone all day (though not to the same degree.)

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dissy ( 172727 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:19PM (#35912150)

    That is unfortunately a very common reaction. I don't understand how people could not care either.

    Another unfortunately common reaction is, after trying to be nice and warn them about the problem, once someone else actually does exploit the problem, they likely will come back to blame you :/

    I do hope for your sake that doesn't happen, but I've had it happen to me before, and was shocked at the multiple layers of stupid their line of thinking was.

    These days I don't even bother unless I already know the person. Being accused of a serious crime for only trying to help just isn't worth the chance.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:57PM (#35912590)

    A company I used to work for was next door to a lawyer and all her drives showed up on our phones using Bluetooth (it was annoying when trying to reconnect your headset because you had to scroll past her 7 drives).

    I told her about it and she didn't care! I told her that anyone could read her clients' confidential documents. She told me that she would sue them...<facepalm>

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