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[ISN] Covert operation floats network-sniffing balloon
By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
Rick Hill won't say where he launched his "wardriving" balloon on
Friday, but he will tell you that it got a pretty good look at about 370
wireless networks, while scanning up and down the Las Vegas Strip.
Hidden in the back of a 22 foot (6.7 meters) moving truck, Hill and his
team of about a dozen volunteers launched the balloon Friday morning,
sending it 150 feet into the air for about 20 minutes to use special
antennas and scanning software to scope out the Las Vegas skyline for
unsecured wireless networks, an activity Hill calls "warballooning."
Hackers have practiced wardriving for years, driving around in cars with
computers and specialized software that sniffs for networks.
Two years ago Hill set his sights a little higher and fired off a model
rocket loaded with similar equipment -- and gave a Defcon presentation
on that project -- but warballooning is something new. In his day job
Hill is a senior scientist with Tenacity Solutions, a security services
consultancy in Reston, Virginia, that works with the government.
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