File this one under A for Awareness.
Available for purchase soon in the U.S. is a device that will enable you (or, more likely, someone you don’t like or don’t even know) to hack into wireless connections with impunity. The name of this device is Silica, and its manufacturer is a company with the ironic-sounding name of Immunity.
Basically, you hold the thing in your hand (it’s being marketed as a handheld) and walk through an area in which you know a variety of wireless networks abound. Then, you just stare at the screen and determine which network you want to hack into. With little effort, you can download files of apparently any size from the network to the Silica. Then, you can just walk away with impunity.
The early version can break into the 802.11 and Bluetooth network standards, meaning conceivably that someone could steal the songs off your mobile phone as well.
Here’s hoping that the US$3,000 price tag scares away the casual hacker. Silica is, after all, made by a security company and intended for security professionals.