ROCKFORD — Just as pirating your neighbor’s cable service to watch premium movie channels is against the law, so too is surfing the Web using someone else’s wireless Internet access. David M. Kauchak, 32, a former Machesney Park resident, is the first person in Winnebago County to be charged with remotely accessing another computer system without the owner’s approval. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to the charge and was fined $250 and sentenced to one year of court supervision. “We just want to get the word out that it is a crime. We are prosecuting it, and people need to take precautions,” Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Wartowski said. Kauchak was arrested in January in Loves Park when local authorities learned he was accessing the Internet through a nonprofit agency’s computer. Wartowski said a Loves Park police officer was on patrol in the wee hours of the morning when he saw Kauchak sitting in a car with a computer. “He slowed down, took a look and saw he had a laptop in his lap. He talked to him and put it all together,” Wartowski said. In a prepared statement, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Paul Logli said, “With the increasing use of wireless computer equipment, the people of Winnebago County need to know that their computer systems are at risk. They need to use encryption or what are known as firewalls to protect their data, much the same way locks protect their homes. “Likewise, our residents need to know that it is a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail, to access someone else’s computer, wireless system or Internet connection without that person’s approval.” http://rrstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060323/NEWS0107/103230036/1011 I'm sure one of my neighbours has a wireless network, every now and gain (rarely) I pick up a network called 101. Unprotected completely vulnerable. I've connected to it before, and the network seems to be a normal home one. Default gateway at 192.168.0.1 etc with internet access. IMO people shouldn't use wireless networks unless they have the sense to secure it with at least WEP.