A Tale of Two Hackers.

I imagine two young hackers seated at their computers ready to commence with their plans for the night’s fun. They initiate a scan for nearby wireless networks and a few seconds later, they see a list of perhaps a dozen wireless networks for them to hack. Several of them are unsecured but they pay that no heed. They’re up for a challenge so they look for something else. They see some secured 2Wire networks but they ignore those as well as they find those relatively easy to break into. So they scan the list for another potential target and come across a wireless network called “Divernet”.

“Dude,” one hacker would say, “Let’s break into this Divernet.”

“You’re on,” the other hacker would respond.

There’s one slight catch. Divernet happens to be my own wireless network, already secured with MAC Address filtering and WPA2 encryption, all guarded by a 400-bit password.

I would imagine the hackers launching an attack on my wireless router, trying to guess the password with a brute-force generator along with a few guesses of their own. “Password12345”, “Pa$$word” and “Wirele$$NetworkPa$$word” each would fail to score a login.

Then the hackers would pull out some tools for breaking into my wireless router, tools freely available across the Web. They use these tools to launch an even more brutal attack but once again they fail. At this point the hackers are sweating bullets. No way are they facing a wireless router so secure even they can’t break in. Their pride and self-esteem are at stake, so they further intensify their hacking efforts.

At this point I’m done with my computer for the night. I’ve just checked my e-mail, read the latest news headlines, posted a few Tweets and blogged a few new posts. I power down my computer and then crawl under the desk to get to the power strip where my modem and wireless router are both plugged in. I flip the switch on the power strip to shut it off. Instantly “Divernet” vanishes from the list of available wireless networks on the hackers’ screens.

“Dude!” One hacker would yell in delight. “I knocked it off!”

“Cool,” His partner would reply, “I knew we’d do it. Hurry, while it’s rebooting!”

The two hackers would then launch into a frenzy of typing and sending keystrokes containing macros in a futile attempt to seize control of my wireless router. Little would they know their target was already powered off and offline.

“Dude, what’s going on?” one hacker would yell. “I can’t get on!”

“I have no idea,” his friend would respond. “But keep trying. The last thing we need is failure!”

And so the two hackers would stay up the rest of the night trying to attack a wireless router already powered down and safely out of reach.

Hours later, when the first rays of the morning sun begin to shine through the window of the hackers’ room, the exhausted and frustrated hackers would finally admit defeat and punish themselves with the Whack of Defeat in which they both stood up and smash their keyboards on each other’s heads.

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