The Internet - Upside Down

Wifi Piggybacking fun  
What would you do if you discovered your neighbours were piggybacking on your wi-fi connection?

- Secure it?

- Call the police?

- Pay them a visit with a baseball bat?

- All of the above?

Or, perhaps, mess with their minds?

Well, Peter Stevens from ex parrot chose this latter option. Determined not to let his impertinent neighbours get away with it, he split the network and let his neighbours carry on surfing at his expense on one half while he used the other. Then, the games really began. As well as redirecting his neighbours repeatedly to Kittenwar he "set iptables to forward everything to a transparent squid proxy running on port 80 on the machine. That machine runs squid with a trivial redirector that downloads images, uses mogrify to turn them upside down and serves them out of it's local webserver."
The result: random text and graphics appears upside down and back to front.  And, as if that wasn't enough, Stevens made an alternation to the code to produce a blur effect to the webpages that the pesky piggybackers were viewing.  You can almost imagine them, rubbing their eyes repeatedly and blinking several times, before turning to one another open-mouthed, wondering just what the hell was going on.

Great fun.


  1. Wow, that guys is a genius! His website is real old-skool too!

    That's for the Kittenwar link - my new favourite site ;D

  2. Glad you liked the Kittenwar link, Andro ;-) I thought it was a good story though I'm still wondering why the wi-fi connection was unsecured in the first place.

    I guess it taught the piggybackers a major lesson in life - which is the main thing. :-)

  3. Oops, I meant 'thanks', not 'that's'! :)

  4. .... I'm a bit worried that I'm bieng ripped off with regard to my wifi connection; my most recent bill seems more than a bit exorbitant. Since I lack technical expertise on this front, I would ask - how do you KNOW if somone is surfing off your back??

  5. Are running mobile broadband via a 'dongle' then or gone over your bandwidth limit for the month?

    If you're talking about a typical broadband connection which you're routing wirelessly, presumably it's encrypted. If you're using WPA you're probably pretty safe. If you're running WEP or, God forbid, haven't got it secured at all, you may well be in trouble.

    You can see you download/upload data amounts on the gateway 'page' for your router. That would help give you an idea.

    Also, have you noticed the connection being significantly slower than you were used to?

  6. My internet slowed down so much when Virgin Media took over NTL. I think they're trying to force me to upgrade my package. ;D

  7. ... Not that I know what a Dongle is! Im not over my broadband lmit because its supposedly unlimited. Im routing wirelessly through an encrypted connection as part of a home network. I think I'm running WPA, but am clueless about these things, I'm afraid!!
    My connection speed is slow, but no slower than previously. Do you think I should call the Network Thought Police?!?


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