Hey, today is World Cat Day — did you know that? To celebrate (not really), one proud cat owner outfit his feline with a special collar, giving it the special power of hacking. Finding hackable WiFi passwords was the order of the day, done by using an age-old hack. Busy at work (you know, between naps and chasing birds, when it has time), the cat found that a lot of us aren’t well guarded, digitally speaking.
The black-cat hacker Coco (Coco is Siamese, but we like geeky Developer jokes, so deal with it) traipsed around his neighborhood for a few hours, outfitted with a collar that detected the WiFi signals of neighbors. Custom firmware, a GPS module, a battery, and small WiFi card gave his human caretaker all the information needed to find who was exploitable.
The point? to see how many of his neighbors used a WEP algorithm, known to be easily hack-able. While it seems WEP should be a distant memory, remember that two million people still pay for AOL. Using Google Maps to later cross reference Coco's WEP findings, the weak spots could be easily determined.
It’s a modern modification of “Wardriving”, an old hack accomplished by driving through neighborhoods and tirelessly cycling through modem numbers. This one is called “WarKitteh”, which essentially does the same, except with a cat.
If you’d like to learn more, Coco’s caretaker Gene Bransfield is giving a DefCon chat called “How to Weaponize your Cat” on the subject. In three hours, Coco found 23 WiFi hotspots, with more than 1/3 open to WEP hacking.
“WarKitteh” is all in fun, though, so don’t get too worried. It’s the “cat in the middle” exploit I’m working on you really need to be concerned about.