NEWS

Hackers target wireless Internet

Computer users in Greece have recently become susceptible to a practice known as «wardriving,» which involves people driving around with laptops and hacking into wireless Internet networks, experts said yesterday. This method of hacking into personal and business computers has been in practice in the USA since 2000 but the advent of wireless Internet in Greece means that it can also be used here, participants at the «Electronic Democracy» conference in Athens were told. «In Greece, wireless Internet providers are not informing their customers of the dangers to which they are exposed. As a result, anyone using this technology has little protection,» Marinos Papadopoulos, a member of the scientific council for the Society of Information, told Kathimerini. There are fears that hackers are taking advantage of «warchalking,» where marks are chalked on to walls and pavements so passers-by can see that the area is covered by a wireless network access point and use it to get online. Wardriving is considered a misdemeanor under Greek law and someone found guilty of hacking into a wireless network faces a maximum of three months in jail. Papadopoulos said that this was not enough of a deterrent, as hackers are invading other people’s privacy since they can access the files on the computers they hack into. Meanwhile, the same conference heard that so many laws were being passed in Greece each year that it was causing confusion, and not just with regard to rules governing the Internet. A representative of the Athens Bar Association, Theodoros Schinas, said that some 8,500 pieces of legislation were passed annually and another 4,500 amendments were made.