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Unsecured wireless owners being sued by victims

With the epidemic of unsecured wireless networks being used as platforms for illegal attacks, lawyers are fighting back.  Hacking victims have a cause-of-action against the owner of wireless networks that have been used to commit crimes, regardless of whether the hapless owner had any criminal intent.

Even benign use of a wireless network is a felony.  Not getting permission is called "

unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony.” 

Read this carefully:

After working with the FBI and federal attorneys on a foreign “John Doe” subpoena, I’m being told that even if the attacker used an unsecured wireless network (or an “open relay” by a negligent ISP) and cannot be traced, the victims can still collect damages from the hapless owners of the unsecured wireless network, under the “gross negligence” clause of their homeowners insurance.  BTW, this is also true in cases where the network is protected by inadequate security such as “WEP”, which can quickly be bypassed by free web programs.

This should serve as a sobering note for unsecured wi-fi owners.  If someone taps-into your unsecured wireless network to commit an attack, YOU are responsible for the damages, under the "gross negligence" doctrine. 

In most cases, your homeowner’s policy will cover damages up to $250,000, but a major attack could cause you to loose everything, including your house and life-savings.

It’s not worth the risk.  Protect your wireless network with “real” security, and don’t just hop onto any unsecured wireless that your computer detects.


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