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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1. Look up the now public SSIDs of pretty much any device within whatever distance I felt like traveling.

Sure, or he could just do that where he is.

2. Pull out a GPS and start heading to it.

Why travel untold miles to some random access point just because it's on Google?

3. Do an attack on the password/passphrase to try and break in. [/q]

So? The fact that an SSID appears in Google does not mean it's open or using WEP or whatever.

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.

Dude, do you seriously think some guy would travel 100's of miles to break into your access point when there's most likely hundreds of access point in his immediate vicinity? Seriously?
You shouldn't worry about some cracker 100 miles away, you should worry about the cracker next door.

But would he have *ever* stumbled anywhere near my place and found my router's wireless access point if it wasn't for Google?

What makes you think he gives a damn about your access point? What makes you think you're a high-profile target? Is the SSID named NORAD? Is your location the White House? Even if the answer is yes your location is already known and an interesting target, regardless of Google.
There's no compelling reason for crackers to randomly travel around the country attacking access-points that happens to occur in Google's data. They could just as easily just drive around at random and get the same result. Also, taken into account that many access points retain the factory SSID knowing that there's an access point in a certain location with SSID "Linksys" isn't really news to anyone.

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.

So what? It's easier to just to attack the local access-points.

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