POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 83 Best pleaded guilty to two counts of making child pornography, two counts of transmitting it, and one count of having it in his possession. Police warn of Wi-Fi theft by porn downloaders Updated Sun. Nov. 23 2003 12:05 News Staff © 2007 All Rights Reserved. Toronto police have charged a man with theft of telecommunications in a bizarre case that involves downloading child pornography from a laptop in a moving car and using other people's computer networks to obtain the images. Det. Sgt. Paul Gillespie of the Sex Crimes Child Exploitation Section described at a news conference "a relatively interesting set of events," that seem to mark a new era in criminal behaviour and police investigative techniques. The case began two weeks ago Wednesday, at 5 a.m., when Sgt. Don Woods of 11 Division noticed a vehicle driving the wrong way down a one-way street in a residential neighbourhood. When Woods stopped the car, he noticed the driver, a man, was naked from the waist down. In the car was a laptop computer and on its screen was an image of a 10-year-old girl in a sex act with an adult male. Gillespie's child exploitation unit was called in to investigate. Police discovered the laptop computer used a Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) card that allows wireless access to the Internet. Police suspected that the man in the car was downloading pornography from the Internet, by cracking into a computer in a nearby home. Det. Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt, of the Ontario Provincial Police's Project P, picked up the investigation because the suspect's home was in Delhi, Ont., outside of Toronto. A warrant was obtained, a search was executed, and a large amount of material was seized and taken to Toronto Police for further investigation.Walter Nowakoski, 36, has been charged with possession of child pornography (two counts), accessing child pornography, distributing child pornography, theft of telecommunications, and making child pornography.Nowakoski is in custody and will appear for a bail hearing on Monday morning. Gillespie said he called the news conference to alert homes and businesses to the potential for cracking into their insecure networks. Nowakoski was allegedly using such improperly protected wireless networks to download child porn. War Driving Locating insecure networks is known as "War Driving." It's the practise of driving around in a vehicle with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop scanning for vulnerable signals, usually in an effort to steal Internet bandwidth. For many computer enthusiasts, "War Driving" is a sport done without malice. The tools: • A laptop with a good wireless card and an antenna • Cheap software to help identify networks in offices and homes • An on-screen utility displays wireless network access points, and the signal strength of the network detected Further steps can be taken to gain access to those networks. Most War Drivers are motivated simply by the thrill of the chase. However, what they argue is a relatively harmless electronic scavenger hunt for "free" Internet access, Toronto police call telecommunications theft. "I don't think that the public realizes that these signals can be transmitted 500 feet or more, depending on the size of the network," Gillespie said. "It is so bad, that there are individual Web sites that show people how to steal wireless web signals, with maps. And people have actually gone to the trouble of spray painting red Xs in front of houses, in case you can't read the map." War Driving is relatively easy to thwart. Almost all software used in business and home wireless networks employs encryption that can block unauthorized access. It just has to be configured properly. Tips Just as Canadians were early adopters in Internet use and broadband access, they are also world leaders in Wi-Fi use. But there are a number of weaknesses in the Wi-Fi system. Here are some tips to help keep users secure: • Make sure that you turn on the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithm, which is part of the 802.11 standard common to most LAN (local area networks) • Always assume that someone is going to try to break into your system, no matter what security you have installed ... check your download and temp files • Change your passwords on a frequent basis • Turn off your network when it is not in use • Use the Internet to keep updated on new flaws that are being discovered in wireless security (...cont’d)