SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Cats are awesome, and one security engineer is making them even more awesome by transforming them into "WarKittehs" -- cats that are capable of scouting for Wi-Fi hackers.
Gene Bransfield equipped a cat with a device that can detect when wireless networks are vulnerable to attack.
Bransfield said the idea is pretty simple. The cat roams a neighborhood and the device maps wireless networks, detecting which ones aren't secured. From there, the hacker can squat outside a location and go to work.
"If I'm going to do some sort of hacking or some sort of malicious activity, I won't want to do it from my house because they can track me to there. I can go to somebody else's house, connect to their Wi-Fi hotspot through their open Wi-Fi, and then if you want to do hacking or something terrible like child pornography, you can download it via that open Wi-Fi access point. And when the FBI shows up, they're going to show up where that access point was, not the guy who connected to it," Bransfield said.
He said a third of the two dozen wireless networks his cat scanned were vulnerable. In order to protect themselves, wireless users should set their routers to use the latest encryption method, WPA 2.