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Lock up your CAD files - it's the Pringle snooper

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AJ+. column

I suppose it is more interesting than wandering around airfields taking down airplane registrations or doing Classical-by-numbers in the drawing office. But not much.

War driving involves people driving around the City, with aerials made from Pringles cans plugged into their laptops, checking to see how many international corporations have not bothered to switch on the security systems on their brand new wireless networks. Apparently, a couple of weeks ago, most of them had not. But following recent exposure in the nationals, I guess they have now and a lot of once-hotshot IT managers are spending more time with their families.

The buzz is apparently from being able to feel superior to megamultinationals - and plain nosiness.

Also, because the war drivers can plug wirelessly into any insecure City network, they can log onto the Web and download enormous files. I can just see thousands of them sitting in their cars on Friday evening on Lombard Street looking stupid and angry because they are plugged into TransMultiUniverse Inc's network and cannot think of any enormous files to download. That is when they get nasty and decide to e-mail the main board's spouses with hitherto secret company credit card data - or screw around with financial stuff.

Nosey and nasty, all this is, naturally, illegal. But so too is maintaining an insecure database of people's names and details - such as might a newly wirelessed building society or bank with the encryptation switched off.

War driving is apparently catching on and it can only be a matter of weeks before Camden Town becomes the fashionable locus for Pringles can snooping. Lock up your CAD files, encrypt those Section 106 deals.

No URLS this week because of the illegal element, but the curious will already have Googled for war driving, wardriving, war-driving, wireless and, of course, Pringles.

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