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Intruder Alert

May 19th, 2003 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Not only is iTunes a fine piece of music management software for the Mac, it’s also handy for network intrusion detection. Or at least it is in the limited case of someone else hopping on my wireless network who also happens to be using iTunes and has sharing turned on.

I noticed in my iTunes application an entry for “John Emdall’s Library” underneath my own library, which I couldn’t browse. Probably had his Mac turned off. I peeked at my router, and sure enough there were two new entries in my DHCP table. One was for a Sony Vaio. Unless our dog has been making purchases on my credit card, there’s no Viao in this household. I figure the other entry is for the mystery Mac with iTunes.

I know it would make Cory Doctorow weep, but I closed my wireless access point down to just our wireless cards (we have two laptops and my iMac). My neighbors can get their own Internet connection. And more to the point, they can get the hell off my network. It’s not so much the free bandwidth ride they are getting, that’s not a big deal. I am more concerned about them peeking at my traffic.

I could have secured the wireless access point awhile ago, but I was kind of curious to see how long it would be before I got a visitor. It took about two years.

In an ideal world, I’d leave the access open, but my desire to do my neighbors technological charity is less of a priority than the marginal increase in security.

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