Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 21st Nov 2011 07:48 UTC
Google Last June, CNET disclosed that Google collects and publishes the estimated locations of millions of phones, laptops, and other Wi-Fi devices. All without their owner's knowledge or permission. Google has finally announced how to exclude your home network from this database. Simply append "_nomap" to its name. Details over at CNET. Left unsaid is why the burden is placed on millions of individuals to opt-out, instead of on perpetrator Google.
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The SSID is not needed for attempting to crack it, they'd need the IP address for that and afaik Google does not show the IP address. In fact, knowing the SSID makes no difference for anyone not in your local vicinity and those who are in your vicinity could find it out by themselves.

Let's say I'm an amateur cracker. I would possibly:

1. Look up the now public SSIDs of pretty much any device within whatever distance I felt like traveling.
2. Pull out a GPS and start heading to it.
3. Do an attack on the password/passphrase to try and break in.

Quick and incredibly easy to locate, and a cracker skilled and determined enough can probably break into whatever the he wants with ease, using whatever information he can get. It's the bad guys who will be using this data and will be trying to cause damage, not the local people going on their daily walk in most cases.

Yea, cuz that wouldn't show up ANYWAY when he got to where you live. Besides, knowing that there's a router/access-point with a certain SSID in a certain location is useless information for this purpose.

But would he have *ever* stumbled anywhere near my place and found my router's wireless access point if it wasn't for Google? You don't seem to get the point: Very few people around here know a damn thing about computers and networking in the first place, and they're for the most part no threat. Give some random cracker asshole who lives 100 miles away my router SSID and approximate location (as Google is doing), and if the cracker really wanted to, he could try to break in.

The information Google provides does in no way make this easier. As long as you're not in the local area the information is meaningless and once you are in the local area the information is already available without Google.

How does it not make it easier to find potential targets for attack? If you know there is a router somewhere 25 miles away and accurate to the street, you know there is a potential target for attack. Just pull out your trusty GPS if you need to, take off and crack away once you've reached your destination and are in range.

Why is that you have to request explicitly to not be listed? Why would you have to pay to not be listed?
This is even more complicated than just adding _nomap and at least Google isn't charging you.

It's my router. It's my internal network. I should be able to name it as I damn well please and not have to add shit to it just so Google doesn't advertise my location and to keep my privacy. Is that really so hard to understand? My SSID has been the same for years, I like it, and I should not have to modify it just so Google doesn't publicly list it for everyone else in the world.

Not to mention, even if I did *not* have an Android phone myself, I would still have to take in consideration all the otherwise innocent people walking down the street with Android phones, because their phones will unknowingly be adding every wireless access point they come near... and putting it all up in Google's big online database.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to work out connecting to my newly-SSID-broadcast-free network with my Android phone manually. What a royal pain in the ass. Thanks, Google.

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