cha747
Posts: 753
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 1:07 pm

US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:41 pm

Today I flew US 1073 CLT-TPA on a 757. About midway through the flight, I turned-on my laptop and out of curiosity checked for wi-fi availability. I have an old Mac iBook and lo and behold - a "computer-to-computer" connection possibility was there and named as, "US Airways Free Wi-Fi." Mind you, this was while we were at cruising altitude and it was either something that is real, or somebody named their computer/network that as either a prank or for some nefarious purpose. I (according to my computer) successfully connected to that network, but was unable to connect to the web while connected to that network. Could the issue be that I am using Mac OSX as opposed to a Windows machine? I don't have the ship number, but it was a 757 in the new livery. Is this something that US is testing? Was this some sick prank? Was this already discussed (I searched to no avail). Thanks for your input.
You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
 
Cactus742
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:18 am

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:41 pm

Computer-to-computer networks ("ad-hoc" networks in the PC/Windows world) are just that. They are not necessarily connected to any wireless access point which would allow computers to connect to points outside of the connected computers, i.e. the internet, although some are. Usually it's not a prank, just someone who doesn't know what they're doing creating a network that doesn't actually do anything or go anywhere.

On the other hand, I have heard of some scams where people set up computer-to-computer networks to steal information from other connected computers. It is defintiely something to be careful of, especially since airports are a prime target. This article describes how these work quite well: http://www.computerworld.com/action/...rintArticleBasic&articleId=9008399

Also See:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12...-page,2-c,scamshoaxes/article.html
Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
 
CXfirst
Posts: 2889
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:13 pm

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:21 pm

If US were having free Wi-Fi there would be lots of ads about it and so, and as far as I know, I haven't seen any of these.

Quoting Cactus742 (Reply 1):
Usually it's not a prank, just someone who doesn't know what they're doing creating a network that doesn't actually do anything or go anywhere.

Why call it...

Quoting Cha747 (Thread starter):
"US Airways Free Wi-Fi."

...if they didn't know they were creating a adhoc network?

So, my conclusion is that it is either getting tested on one plane (for now) and you happened to be on it, or the more likely choice: a joke (was the flight on April fools by any chance  Wink )

-CXfirst
 
whappeh
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RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:29 pm

Was it, by chance, the one with winglets?
-Travel now, journey infinitely.
 
united757
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:53 am

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:20 am

I was waiting for a US Air flight once, and I was using the WiFi at the gate, and there were several ad-hoc networks titled "free wifi" etc.. My guess is it was a scam.
 
atlaaron
Posts: 973
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:30 pm

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:33 am

No chance. A Computer to Computer network can't go anywhere but that from one computer to the next and can be used to access one another's harddrives. Why would US be testing that? It's exactly what some of the posters said above and was someone else in the aircraft that had set up a Computer to Computer network and named their particular computer (on that network) US Airways Free Wi-Fi.

My advice when you pull up your available Wi-Fi connections ALWAYS DISABLE computer to computer networks. Unless you want the guy in seat 31A to be able to check out your porn collection on your harddrive.
 
rpaillard
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:57 am

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:47 am

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 5):
check out your porn collection on your harddrive.

Depending of your setup, not to mention the content of your hard drive ... Every computers should be safe of that, providing that the setup is correct, but it's unfortunately not often the case. Having a firewall is a very low minimum by the way.

Being back on the topic, and as the "Hot Spot" was Ad-Hoc, I'm pretty sure that it was either a joke or scamming. The big deal for the hacker is to setup a hot spot, accept incoming connexion, have various programs listening the traffic. Once the victim is connected, the average user may launch is email software and then try "Send & Receive", just to check if the connection is working. You now just have to sniff the traffic from the hacker computer and enjoy.

Raphael
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
luketenley
Posts: 415
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:51 am

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:07 am

Quoting United757 (Reply 4):
I was waiting for a US Air flight once, and I was using the WiFi at the gate, and there were several ad-hoc networks titled "free wifi" etc.. My guess is it was a scam.

If you were in PIT, then it was free wi-fi.

Quoting Cha747 (Thread starter):
US Airways Free Wi-Fi

Doubt that would ever happen. An airline offereing something free!??? HAHA
Pittsburgh International Airport lover
 
skyharborshome
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:19 am

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:16 am

WSJ - Aircraft To Become Wi-fi Hotspots (by Mnevans Apr 3 2007 in Civil Aviation)

Interesting that this is being discussed at same time though I agree with previous posts in saying they are not really related.

[Edited: Incorrect link originally posted]

[Edited 2007-04-03 22:17:12]
Fly CHD!
 
cha747
Posts: 753
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 1:07 pm

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:00 am

So here's the kicker...

My flight today from TPA-CLT was on an A321 with no wi-fi or ad-hoc anything. On my flight from CLT-CHA on a Dash 8-300, there was an ad-hoc network option that read something like (not same title as subject, something like "Free Wi-Fi").

I'd fly US exclusively if this were an option...
You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
 
united757
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:53 am

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:57 am

Quoting Luketenley (Reply 7):
Quoting United757 (Reply 4):I was waiting for a US Air flight once, and I was using the WiFi at the gate, and there were several ad-hoc networks titled "free wifi" etc.. My guess is it was a scam.
If you were in PIT, then it was free wi-fi.

I was using free Wifi, but it was at MCO, I just noticed several ad-hoc networks claiming to be "free wifi" in addition to the actual free Wifi.
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:00 am

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 2):
...if they didn't know they were creating a adhoc network?

I don't know about "US Airways Free Wi-Fi", but "Free Wireless Interet Access" and similarly named ad-hoc wireless networks propigate due to a bug in the way Windows handles ad-hoc networks -- many people sharing that network aren't even aware of it. (And IIRC, there is a patch avilable for it)

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
N908AW
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:05 pm

RE: US Airways Free Wi-Fi?

Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:34 pm

Quoting Whappeh (Reply 3):
Was it, by chance, the one with winglets?

 rotfl  No, but it was the specialty scheme.
'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!