Prosecutors Go After Hacker For “Wardriving” (Which Is Nerdier Than It Sounds)

Law officers have moved to seize a Seattle man’s car they claim was used in a “wardriving” spree that saw Seattle-area wireless networks hacked and harvested for information.

In filings with the U.S. District Court at Seattle, investigators contend the 1988 Mercedes sedan was a rolling base of operations for hackers intent on forcing their way into wireless networks to obtain personal information.

Federal prosecutors describe the seizure requested last week as a small piece of a years-long investigation into a string of network intrusions and commercial burglaries in which two other Seattle men were accused of stealing $750,000 in computer equipment and other items.

Writing the court, Seattle Police Detective Chris Hansen said the car’s owner is suspected of using sophisticated electronic equipment to break through networks using a 12-year-old security algorithm — Wired Equivalent Privacy, or WEP protection — since superseded by more modern  defenses.