The Worldwide Wardrive

The First WorldWide WarDrive took place between 31 August and 7 September 2002.
The Second WorldWide WarDrive took place between 26 October and 2 November 2002
The Third WorldWide WarDrive will take place between 28 June and 5 July 2003


Some Frequently Asked Questions

What is the WorldWide WarDrive?
The WorldWide WarDrive is an effort by security professionals and hobbyists to generate awareness of the need by individual users and companies to secure their access points. The goal of the WorldWide WarDrive (or WWWD) is to provide a statistical analysis of the many access points that are currently deployed.
What do you hope to accomplish?
We feel that many end users are not aware that the factory or "default" settings on Access Points do not take any security measures into account. By providing these statistics we hope that end users will become aware of the need to take simple measures to secure their access points.
What is the history behind the WorldWide WarDrive?
The history of this event can be found here
How do I secure my access point?
Depending on the manufacturer, the means of securing an access point vary. Some simple steps to take are to implement a unique SSID, Disable SSID broadcast, Filter by MAC address and enable encryption (WEP). These steps should provide the necessary security for a home user. Business WLANS should also enact further measures such as VPN access. We will be posting instructions for accomplishing this. Initially, the steps needed to do this on Linksys Access Points have been posted as it is the most common vendor seen during the last WorldWide WarDrive. I also received this information on other access points today via email from Agent Green. If you would like to donate other access points so that the methods to accomplish these steps can be posted, please contact Roamer by email.
Can I hire you to secure my access point for me?
Why don't you post the Netstumbler NS1 files or Kismet dumps?
The goal of the WWWD is not to provide information on specific access points or their configuration, but rather to provide a statistical overview of the problems that we have noticed.
Will you teach me to hack/crack/gain unauthorized access to an AP so that I can surf for free?
No, in fact, if you email me and ask me to do this I will post your email will full X-Originating info on this page. WarDriving is NOT the practice of gaining unauthorized access to these networks.
Is WarDriving legal?
Yes. WarDriving is not a crime. A recent FBI email stated it this way however:
"Identifying the presence of a wireless network may not be a criminal violation, however, there may be criminal violations if the network is actually accessed including theft of services, interception of communications, misuse of computing resources, up to and including violations of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute, Theft of Trade Secrets, and other federal violations."
It is, however, each individual's responsibility to ensure that they do not violate any local, state, or federal laws that may pertain to their area.
How can I avoid accidentally connecting to a network?
I have posted some methods to avoid accidentally connecting to a network here. It is highly recommended that you use them!.
I didn't participate in an organized drive. Do you still want my data for statistical analysis?
If you didn't participate in an organized drive but would like your data included in the statistical analysis, you will be able to upload your merged .ns1 via the web interface which will be available mid June.
Do you "WarChalk" the APs you find?
No. I think WarChalking is stupid, and apparently I am not alone. Here are the results of a recent poll on the Netstumbler forums:

Yes, that's right, not one person actually warchalks. Granted this isn't a scientific poll, but you would think if people were doing this at least ONE would have answered yes.
Hint to press: A good way to have your media inquiry ignored is to ask me about warchalking.
I am with the media. Will you be available for an interview?
It is very important that this message gets out, so all media inquiries should be sent to Due to the overwhelming number of media inquiries we receive you should not expect a response for a couple of days.
How can I stay informed about WorldWide WarDrives taking place in my area?
The best way is to subscribe to the WarDriving Mailing List
How do you create the Maps on these pages?
The maps are created using Mother's excellent StumbVerter and MS MapPoint 2002.
I don't have MapPoint. Are there any online resources to create maps?
Why yes there are. A list of online mapservers is here.