A smart cat collar has detected security failings in dozens of vulnerable Wi-Fi networks that can be accessed with ease.
At this year’s Def Con 22 Hacking Conference in Las Vegas, Gene Bransfield, a security engineer at Tenacity Solutions, explained how he fitted a cat with a digital collar that carries a Spark Core computer chip running on custom-coded firmware.
"The collar contained a GPS device and a cellular component and would track your cats movements throughout the neighbourhood," Bransfield explained on the Def Con website.
Bransfield dubbed the experiment ‘WarKitteh’, a method that involves scouring multiple networks to see how secure they are.
He first tested his $100 collar on a Siamese cat named Coco. After three hours of roaming the neighbourhood, the cat returned with information that revealed four Wi-Fi routers had no security encryption, while another four were using an outdated security system.
Bransfield also told Wired that the concept came to him after he came across a special cat collar with a cellular component and a GPS device that tracked the cat’s movements.
"But the result of this cat research was that there were a lot more open and WEP-encrypted hot spots out there than there should be in 2014."
He added that he hopes the experiment will increase the public’s awareness about Wi-Fi security and inform people they should secure their Internet networks.