Posted by: kenwbudd | May 18, 2010

Unprotected WiFI Users Face Fines in Germany

Internet users in Germany, whose wireless networks are left password unprotected, can be fined up to 100 euros, according to a recent ruling by Germany’s top criminal court.

The ruling is in response to a musician’s lawsuit against a user whose unprotected wireless network was used for downloading and sharing music over P2P.

Just how realistic is the ruling, from a security perspective? Is a weak password protected wireless network, any different than the one with no password security at all?

“Private users are obligated to check whether their wireless connection is adequately secured to the danger of unauthorised third parties abusing it to commit copyright violation,” the court said. Internet users can be fined up to euro 100 ($126) if a third party takes advantage of their unprotected WLAN connection.”

The ruling is not just missing the emphasis on the importance of strong passwords, but it also “doesn’t expect users to constantly update the security of their wireless networks“.

Moreover, it’s not even building awareness on the fact how the choice of the encryption protocol, can greatly slow down a potential attacker, in a combination with strong password.

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