Ed Bilodeau

<< Back to Home

This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Hacker : This evening I brought my laptop home to work on a few documents and my e-mail backlog. I intended to work offline and sync up in the morning when I get back to work. However, as I was working, my laptop automatically detected and connected to a wireless network. This happens pretty regularly, as I've mentionned here before. The signal is usually too weak to be considered reliable, but sometimes it maintains its strength long enough to do something useful.

For some reason, when I saw the icon flash telling me that I was connected to the wireless network, I thought I would see if I could establish a VPN connection to McGill's network. I headed over to Network Connections.... and noticed a few shared folders that are usually not there:


I double-clicked on the 'c' folder, and sure enough, I was browsing my neighbor's hard drive. I closed the window, touching nothing. I then double-checked my own laptop to make sure all my file sharing and doors were locked down tight (they were), then got back to work. (I was tempted to leave a txt file letting them know their PC is wide open, but that would most likely just cause more problems.)

I've read about this kind of zero-security setup many times, but it was the first time I encounted it myself. Scary to think about how many other people have unknowingly opened their PC's when they clicked through their wireless router's install process. (FWIW, the reason I didn't buy a wireless router for our home was that I didn't want to spend the time and energy necessary to make sure our home network stayed secure.)