20 Sep 2011

Seattle-area Wi-Fi hacking burglars indicated, accused of 41 burglaries

Three men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of hacking the wireless network of 13 business to steal money and personal information, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Security software could be useful to businesses afraid of similar occurrences.

Federal prosecutors said the three Seattle-area men, Joshuah A. Witt, Brad E. Lowe an John E. Griffin, used the fruits of their network break-ins to further the crime spree in the form of 41 burglaries. The crime spree allegedly ran from April 2008 to the end of 2010, the news source said.

The trio “used a variety of methods to gain unauthorized access to the computer networks of small and medium-sized businesses located in the Puget Sound region," according to prosecutors. The Post-Intelligencer said among the methods used were "wardriving," in which hackers mount a high-strength Wi-Fi receiver inside a car and search for easily penetrated networks.

Aside from security software, Unplugged's website said that for those worried about having their network hacked, routers should be frequently updated, passwords should be placed over shared files and there should be a monthly check of the computer with spyware and antivirus software.