Definition Edit

Piggybacking refers to accessing a wireless internet connection by bringing one's own computer within the range of another's wireless connection, and using that service without the subscriber's explicit permission or knowledge. It is a legally and ethically controversial practice, with laws that vary in jurisdictions around the world. While completely outlawed in some jurisdictions, it is permitted in others.

Doing so invites a number of problems:

A customer of a business providing hotspot service, such as a hotel or café, is generally not considered to be piggybacking, though non-customers or those outside the premises may be. Many such locations provide wireless internet access as a courtesy to their patrons, either with or without an extra charge, or simply to draw people to the area.

Piggybacking is distinct from war driving, which involves only the logging or mapping of the existence of Internet access points.

References Edit

  1. US-CERT, Using Wireless Technology Securely, at 1-2.

See also Edit

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