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KisMAC Developer Discontinues Project 213

Posted by kdawson
from the when-security-tools-are-outlawed dept.
mgv writes to let us know that the lead developer of KisMAC, a passive wireless network discovery tool for Mac OS X, is discontinuing the project. Michael Rossberg lives in Germany and that country has recently passed laws that would make his participation dangerous. He urges visitors to take a copy of KisMAC and its source as long as the site is up, so that development might be continued outside the US or EU. From the website: "There has not been a lot of time for KisMAC lately. However the motivation for this drastic step [lies] somewhere different. German laws change and are being adapted for 'better' protection against something politicians obviously do not understand. It will become illegal to develop, use or even posses KisMAC in this banana republic [i.e., Germany]."
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KisMAC Developer Discontinues Project

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  • by SlashdotTemporaryAcc (1134399) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @02:07AM (#20029713)
    Because of its vagueness, this yet to be commenced, but already passed law is a severe threat to the German security community! Experts of different interest groups have repeatedly expressed their serious concerns, but the politicans - naturally knowing better than any expert can - decided otherwise. For more information, please visit: http://www.phenoelit.de/202/202.html [phenoelit.de]
  • Lost Freedom (Score:2, Interesting)

    What bothers me (i've never heard about this software before) is the trend for western countries to move away from individual freedom. I live in Australia, it is happening here - the doctor that was held without charge for 3 weeks [sciencedaily.com]. I know it's happening in the US, but now it seems to be happening in other western countries too. Are there any western countries whose citizens aren't losing their individual freedoms?

    At least we are having an inquiry into the matter [news.com.au]. How is it in other countries?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by keeboo (724305)
      Are there any western countries whose citizens aren't losing their individual freedoms?

      Well.. It's not happening in Brazil.
      I guess the politicians here are too busy counting their money.
    • by Movi (1005625)
      I would guess pretty much any of the scandinavian countries (Norway or Sweden for example).
      • by jgrahn (181062)

        I would guess pretty much any of the scandinavian countries (Norway or Sweden for example).

        Possibly Norway; they're not part of the EU. Here in .se, we lose freedom all the time ... although perhaps not as quickly as e.g. the british.

      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        I know from people who live in Denmark (for those not in the know: that's a scandinavian country) that ISPs there refuse to answer DNS queries for certain sites. As far as I know, this isn't actually mandated by the government, but it's censorship nonetheless.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      I have my eyes set on Canada. I'm sure people here can point out what's going wrong there (and please do), but it seems to me things are a whole lot better there than in the EU or the USA.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      the doctor that was held without charge for 3 weeks.

      Does it matter that he was a doctor?
  • by bananaendian (928499) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @03:00AM (#20029975) Homepage Journal

    He urges visitors to take a copy of KisMAC and its source as long as the site is up, so that development might be continued outside the US or EU
    FYI: KisMAC doesn't work in passive mode in the latest ibooks with Atheros AR5008 chipset.
    • by mgv (198488) *

      FYI: KisMAC doesn't work in passive mode in the latest ibooks with Atheros AR5008 chipset.


      I presume you meant macbooks here - it works fine in passive mode with the ibooks, they don't have that chipset. It does work fine with a USB prism chipset 802.11b/g key if you have a macbook.

      Michael

      • Darn submit button! noticed that myself afterwards. I'm aware that on the older Macbooks (pre 2007) it works fine. But Apple has changed the chipset recently to Atheros and all kinds of problems have crept up, airport dropping connection and so on. It's understandable that KisMAC doesn't support it because its completely different chipset and they haven't updated KisMAC's hardware support after 2006.
        • by lakeland (218447)
          I have a macbook on which I cannot connect at all to a WAP which an iMac next to it uses all the time. Even right next to the WAP it would report unexpected errors. I spent a while trying to diagnose the problem (including installing kisMac, and finding it didn't work at all on the macbook) before giving up and buying a cheap 802.11g + ethernet switch, which I can connect to from a phoenominal range on the macbook.

          As a bonus, I'm now using WPA2 security, though I don't know how secure it really is thanks
      • by ttldkns (737309)
        could you give me an example of which branded USB wireless b/g keys are prism based? I've never been able to find any in the UK.
    • FYI: KisMAC doesn't work in passive mode in the latest ibooks with Atheros AR5008 chipset.

      You mean Macbook; I know, stupid term, but "iBook" means a completely different platform, albeit in the same market segment. And it doesn't work in any INTEL Macs; it looks like it works, acts like it works- finds some networks- but nothing beyond broadcast SSID frames are recorded, except for a very limited number of people who probably have one specific revision. You're best off with a PPC system.

      Frankly, the g

  • by Joe Tie. (567096) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @03:47AM (#20030177)
    a family of lawyers, I'd caution anyone tempted to think of this as an Us Vs. Them scenario. This kind of shit happens everywhere, and it's really only by having the protection of the guns of any particular country that you gain any measure of freedom past the average level that the man on the street considers the lowest possible. It sucks, but this is the reality of the situation. You've only got as much freedom as isn't either explicitly protected, or passed by when politicians make their rounds in "protecting" you against harming yourself.
    • by nagora (177841)
      This kind of shit happens everywhere, and it's really only by having the protection of the guns of any particular country that you gain any measure of freedom past the average level that the man on the street considers the lowest possible.

      The only reason we need guns is to protect us from the sort of jerks who own guns...

      TWW

      • it seems to me that a government (*any* government) has it's share of jerks and aside from perhaps the Vatican, can you name me one government that *doesn't* own guns? It is therefor safe to conclude that one purpose of owning firearms is to protect one's own $RIGHTS from the jerks in government if/when the jerks come into power and get to set policy/enact legislation.
        From what I have read, the rebels in the colonies were pretty clear on this when they were setting up a self-governing system way back in the
      • by Agripa (139780)
        The only reason we need guns is to protect us from the sort of jerks who own guns...

        Because violence did not exist before firearms.
  • 3 hour tour (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tablizer (95088)
    Open-source should buy and island and form a new "country". Call it Stallmanland? Stalland? Nah. Needs work.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      Come on now, why is it "off-topic"? It is based directly on this statement from the submitter:

      "He urges visitors to take a copy of KisMAC and its source as long as the site is up, so that development might be continued outside the US or EU."

      OSS-friendly laws and practices can be established in a new island country. Security research could also be done without being visited by mean corporate lawyers or the FBI.
                   
      • Come on now, why is it "off-topic"? It is based directly on this statement from the submitter:

        Somebody with mod points is traversing their foes list. It figures.

        Those of us without points today appreciate your suggestion, point to Sealand as an example of What Not To Do, and suggest that Cuba might be up for sale soon.
    • by kybred (795293)
      How about Gnufoundland?
  • Quote: "German laws change and are being adapted for 'better' protection against something politicians obviously do not understand. It will become illegal to develop, use, or even possess KisMAC in this banana republic [i.e., Germany]."

    It's amazing when someone calls his own country a "banana republic".

    Managers who were older than 20 when the personal computer revolution began have seldom bothered to learn about the new technology. I guess we will just have to wait until the old dinosaurs retire.
    • by Shohat (959481)
      There is no need to learn about computers to be a good manager.
      I personally develop Thermochemical real-time control devices; the owner of the company I work for doesn't own a computer, and all his email is managed by his secretary. He is a brilliant mechanical engineer and a good businessman, much more competent than the email/berry/collaboration obsessed middle-managers that you probably consider the tech-savvy personnel that should lead companies.
      • Part of being a good manager is that you directly manage only stuff you understand.

        So if the owner of the company you work for has hired a competent CIO and lets him do his job, that is perfectly OK. In my experience, those who are halfway tech-savvy and start micromanaging things cause a lot more problems.
    • by LKM (227954)

      It's amazing when someone calls his own country a "banana republic".

      Actually, most people living in western, progressive countries are very critical towards their own country. There are a few countries where stupid jingoism is rampant, and interestingly, these are often the among the more backwards ones.

      I'd say being critical towards your own country is one of the signs of a progressive, enlightened society, and an important part of a working democracy.

  • The irony of the situation is that the German government actively sponsors [nth-dimension.org.uk] work on security tools such as GPG [bsi.bund.de], OpenVAS [openvas.org], BOSS [bsi.bund.de].
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      They've also done a number of other Good Things. The trick is that:

      1. The German government isn't a single entity. One part can make good decisions whereas another can make bad decisions, both at the same time.
      2. They may actually be trying to make things better for the citizens, and just making the occassional misstep.
      3. Germany is a democracy, and thus, the government changes.
  • From the project FAQ:

    The source code is only available with subversion, a CVS replacement.

    I was going to download it (as a gesture; my only Mac runs Linux) but no way I'm going to install SVN just for that! Odd decision, not even providing weekly builds ...

  • it was probably the easiest to use tool of its type, and all of the mac users that I knew that were interested in security used it. It really sucks that the main developer is going to be pushed off the project.

    For those who haven't used it, it is significantly better than kismet for linux. It brings together kismet, and a number of other open source tools for wep cracking and integrates them into a easy to use UI. It is pretty trivial (point and click) to break a wep network with kismac. I've tried the same

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