Regardless of the time period, theft has always been an issue in society. As long as people have had something desirable, people have been trying to steal it. With so many advancements in technology and more aspects of our lives going online, this has only gotten worse. Hackers make it their goal to access as much of your online presence as possible whether it’s bank information, social media pages, or even online gaming accounts.
With over thirty years of experience in information communication technology, our friend, “Tom,” is well aware of this. When it comes to nefarious activity on the internet, Tom had seen and stopped it all. Unfortunately for Tom, he didn’t realize this nefarious activity would soon hit so close to home.
It all started when Tom’s girlfriend, “Chloe,” moved into a new apartment. She wanted to live closer to both her sister and him. Like all people moving into a new home, she had to get her internet set up. Although not as tech-savvy as Tom, Chloe still knew her stuff well. Definitely well enough to ensure she was getting a secure WiFi network when shopping around for providers.
The provider ensured her the WiFi network was “fully secure out of the box;” however, Chloe noticed her WiFi speed decreased drastically after only a few months of use.
Chloe knew it didn’t have anything to do with the actual WiFi network itself, as it was basically brand new. She decided to investigate it as well as possible before contacting her internet service provider. And who would be better to assist her than her tech-savvy boyfriend, Tom?
When Tom first heard about Chloe’s predicament he thought, “Wow, visiting my girlfriend and showing off my IT skills?”
He figured maybe it was her laptop. She even could have gotten a worn-down pair of network cables that caused her connection to be slower. It took Tom a moment but he eventually discovered the issue. Someone was leeching off of Chloe’s WiFi.
Even worse, Tom decided to check the sticker on the side of her WiFi router. It contained information regarding the network such as the name and password. To Tom’s dismay, the network name and password were exactly the same.
This made Tom think, “So it didn’t exactly take a super hacker to get access to Chloe’s WiFi network.”
This made both Tom and Chloe think about the internet service provider’s promise. A “fully secure network out of the box” was a little far from the truth. Unless the hacker never thinks to try the WiFi network name as the password. Maybe they thought “surely no one is that stupid.”
Unfortunately, Tom couldn’t pinpoint who exactly was leeching off of Chloe’s WiFi network or why they were doing it. Were they just mooching off of her WiFi? Or trying to steal her bank information? Were they trying to spy on her video calls with her family in Japan? There was no way of knowing just how nefarious the goals of this “hacker” were.
The more Tom let these thoughts stew in his mind, the angrier it made him. He was angry at the “incompetence and the blatant disrespect for his girlfriend’s privacy.” Tom knew better than to think he could do anything aside from leaving an angry customer service complaint. Or encourage Chloe to use a different internet service provider to get back at them for their deception over their “security.”
However, he could get really creative when it came to getting back at whoever was leeching off of Chloe’s WiFi.
I Feel Like This Is Going To End Poorly For Them
First and foremost, Tom got Chloe set up with a different internet service provider. He also purchased her a professional-grade WiFi router. Not that her original WiFi router wasn’t fine for everything she needed it for. Tom figured if someone had successfully gained access to her WiFi network, it could happen in the future.
Then Tom set up Chloe with an extremely secure hidden WiFi network. It didn’t just appear when someone was searching for a network to join. It had to be manually typed into each device.
Next, Tom set up a second WiFi network that was identical to Chloe’s previous network. It had the same exact name and password. The person would probably just think, “Oh, that’s weird, I got kicked off their network,” then rejoin.
Tom drastically throttled down the speed of the second WiFi network. This made it very inconvenient for the person to use. Not that it would dissuade them from whatever nefarious activity they were trying on Chloe’s WiFi network.
Unfortunately for the leecher, Tom didn’t stop there. He decided to install some Domain Name System overrides onto the second WiFi network. “DNS is a service on the internet which translates names into IP addresses. Which is what your computer needs to connect to something.” In basic terms, your computer uses the IP address assigned to a website rather than only the name of a specific website.
This leecher had messed with the wrong WiFi Network. Tom had studied the logs to see which websites the leecher visited the most and realized he could really do some damage with the Domain Name System.
He Really Went All Out For This
Tom decided to switch out the IP addresses associated with the websites frequently visited by the leecher with IP addresses assigned to various “corn” websites for just about every preference you can imagine.
Tom thought to himself, “This ought to really catch them off guard next time they think they can poke around on my girlfriend’s WiFi network.”
Then another idea struck him and he decided to have a little bit more fun.
Tom switched an IP address for a website semi-frequently visited with the IP address of a relationship counseling website. Best of all, the website had the bright and bold message of “When you think your spouse is cheating on you, come to us!” plastered on the homepage.
Just as Tom was putting the finishing touches on his revenge, he also noticed the firmware on his girlfriend’s new high-end WiFi router offered web redirection services. Meaning he could send the leecher to whatever website he desired randomly regardless of the website they were currently using.
For this specific action, Tom remembered a “look at this picture” website from his childhood that was so bad the name had become a meme itself. “So every once in a while, the leecher would open their favorite website, and no matter what kind of website they asked for, they would always end up with something completely and utterly disgusting on their screen.
When Tom shared his revenge plan with Chloe, she did not fully agree with his actions. With that being said, they never argued over it because she agreed “if you trespass, even in the digital world, then all bets are off and you lost your right to a civil solution.”
With that established, they waited for the aftermath.
One day, Chloe got home from work and noticed a huge moving truck outside. Being in an apartment complex, people moved in and out all the time so she didn’t pay much attention to it at first glance. She got to her front door and noticed it was the neighbor two doors down from her.
Chloe thought to herself, “That’s a shame, they seemed like a nice couple and were low maintenance neighbors,” but aside from that didn’t think anything of it.
Chloe brought it up to her next-door neighbor when they ran into each other a few days later and said, “Did you see the couple next to you moved out? I hope the next people are as tame as them.”
The neighbor responded, “I thought they were tame too but things have exploded over there the past few weeks. I could hear the shouting and accusations through the walls of my apartment every night!”
Chloe asked, “What got into them? They seemed like such a happy couple!”
The neighbor answered, “Apparently, she found a bunch of ‘corn’ websites in the history of his computer and his ‘preferences’ had her feeling like she had no idea who he really was. He swore up and down he hadn’t intentionally gone to the websites but she wasn’t buying it. I thought they had eventually gotten through it but it sounded like something really nasty popped up when she was on the computer one day and she completely blew up on him. I think they broke up.”
Tom regretted nothing when she told him the fallout from his revenge on the basis of “if you’re leeching off someone else’s Internet connection then the fallout is on you. I pranked them, hard but still, I’m convinced others would have done a lot worse.”
Do you think Tom took things too far or do you think the couple had it coming?
Thoughts From The Author
Did Tom’s revenge end up having harsh consequences? Absolutely. With that being said, it took a lot more than some “corn” websites popping up for Chloe’s neighbors to end up breaking up over it. If anything the neighbor could have told his partner, “I swear I typed in this website and it popped up,” then literally showed it to her because Tom had it programmed to happen every single time. I don’t think the couple breaking up was Tom’s fault. From what the neighbor told Chloe if they were shouting at each other over some “corn” and relationship counseling websites popping up on the computer then they were likely on thin ice to begin with.
I completely agree with Tom’s stance of people leeching off of someone else’s WiFi network. As someone who pays an internet bill, I understand it’s not cheap. Someone using my WiFi network without my permission would basically be the equivalent of them stealing water or electricity from my apartment. Not cool. Pay your own internet bill like an adult. I also think it’s important to point out that Tom had no idea who was using Chloe’s WiFi network or why they were doing it. For all he knew, someone could have been creeping on his girlfriend and if that were the case, his response would have been deemed super tame.
I wish Tom could have pulled off something similar on the original internet service provider. Are you seriously telling customers your service is secure “out of the box” without even bothering to assign a password that’s different from the network name? Literally any other password is more secure than that. Of course, the internet service provider doesn’t face any repercussions aside from losing someone’s business.
At least Chloe has secure WiFi and Tom looks like a genius who cares about his girlfriend though!