Here's a story that will make Grumpy Cat happy.
A Siamese cat named Coco wandered his neighborhood for a mere three hours. Seems innocent enough, except that Coco was outfitted with a special collar that had firmware, a Wi-Fi card and a GPS system installed designed to map the neighborhood and identify weak Wi-Fi networks.
The collar is known as the WarKitteh collar and debuted at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas. It costs under $100 to make and "turns any outdoor car into a Wi-Fi-sniffing hacker accomplice."
According security researcher Gene Bransfield:
“My intent was not to show people where to get free Wi-Fi. I put some technology on a cat and let it roam around because the idea amused me,” says Bransfield, who works for the security consultancy Tenacity. “But the result of this cat research was that there were a lot more open and WEP-encrypted hot spots out there than there should be in 2014.”
In fact, Coco found 23 hotspots, most of which still had default settings, making the networks easier to hack into. With that in mind, Bransfeld is hoping more people take the security of their Wi-Fi network more seriously.
“Cats are more interesting to people than information security,” Bransfield says. “If people realize that a cat can pick up on their open Wi-Fi hotspot, maybe that’s a good thing.”
If you don't know how to secure your Wi-Fi or have been putting it off, click here to find out how you can secure it in minutes.