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  1. #1
    Daryl Revok Freedomfighter

    Google Sniffed Wi-Fi Data On Purpose

    Google’s public version of events of how it came to secretly intercept Americans’ data sent on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers over a two-year period doesn’t quite mesh with what the search giant told federal regulators.

    And if Google had its way, the public would have never learned the software on Google’s Street View mapping cars was “intended” to collect payload data from open Wi-Fi networks.

    A Federal Communications Commission document disclosed Saturday showed for the first time that the software in Google’s Street View mapping cars was “intended” to collect Wi-Fi payload data, and that engineers had even transferred the data to an Oregon Storage facility. Google tried to keep that and other damning aspects of the Street View debacle from public review, the FCC said.

    Google accompanied its responses to the FCC inquiry “with a very broad request for confidential treatment of the information it submitted,” the FCC said, in a letter to Google, saying it would remove most of the redaction from the FCC’s public report and other documents surrounding the debacle.

    The FCC document unveiled Saturday is an unredacted version of an FCC finding, which was published last month with dozens of lines blacked out. The report said that Google could not be held liable for wiretapping, despite a federal judge holding otherwise.

    The unredacted FCC report refers to a Google “design document” written by an engineer who crafted the Street View software to collect so-called payload data, which includes telephone numbers, URLs, passwords, e-mail, text messages, medical records, video and audio files sent over open Wi-Fi networks.

    The engineer is referred to as “Engineer Doe” in the report, though he was identified on Sunday as Marius Milner, a well-known figure in the Wi-Fi hacking community.


  2. #2
    FreedomFighter Freedomfighter
    The author of a software program credited with bringing war-driving to the masses was Google’s Engineer Doe, the author of the company’s controversial Street View Wi-Fi logging program, according to a report in The New York Times.

    The Google engineer who built the software, identified until now only as “Engineer Doe,” is Marius Milner, the Times said, citing an unnamed former state investigator working on a Street View inquiry.

    The practice of driving around cities and logging open wireless access points is known as war-driving, and that’s essentially what Google ended up doing with its Street View program. In the early days of Wi-Fi, it was a way to find open connections that could be used to get online for free.

    Milner, a software engineer with Google since 2003, is well known within the wireless-hacking community, according to Brad Haines, an independent security consultant known as RenderMan who has spoken on wireless hacking.

    In an audit made public in 2010, Google called its Wi-Fi logging software Gstumbler. In retrospect, that should have been a tip-off.

    Back in the early 2000s, Milner wrote NetStumbler, a Windows tool that could be used to pinpoint wireless networks. Netstumbler was the first relatively easy-to-use Windows war-driving tool. “You still needed a very specific [wireless] card but it had a nice GUI (graphical user interface),” Haines says. “It was that iterative step of making it more accessibile to people.”

    What got Google into trouble, though, was its practice of indiscriminately logging wireless packets with its Street View cars between up until 2010. Google recorded any data traveling on unsecured wireless networks at the moment the car drove by, which included full e-mails and passwords.

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