Sep 21 2011

Public Wifi Encryption?

So, as I post this blog, I am down the street from my house, at a Subway restaurant. Now, there is a Dunkin Doughnuts 2 doors down that advertises free Wifi. Well, turns out their access point is secured with a WEP key.. which is all to common here in Memphis. Free wifi requires you to ASK for a key, which odds are the person you ask won’t know about, or they won’t give out for some insane reason.

Now, for me this was a non-issue: I had the idea to see if the stores phone number was the key. Took out my phone, went to google, looked up the store, got the phone number, put it in as the key, and sure enough it was the passkey. Ihop down by the mall does the same thing for their wifi: Use the stores phone number as the security key.

This brings up a though though, while yes, they do only want paying customers of their store to use their internet access, it begs the question of just why a paying customer should have to go thru the minor hassle of asking for the key, to possibly be denied it? Quite annoying, in my opinion, and for someone like me who doesn’t like to ask anyone about pretty much anything, it can be a BIG hassle.


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