War: What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. WarKitteh, on the other hand: What is it good for? Free Wi-Fi. If you've been searching for hot spots in your neighborhood but coming up blank, consider adding your cat to the equation. That's what security researcher Gene Bransfield did.
He built his wife's grandmother's cat, Coco, a special collar that incorporated a custom-coded chip, Wi-Fi card, GPS module, and a battery. Then, he sent Coco out to do his thing. He roamed Bransfield's neighborhood and returned a few hours later with a dead mouse, which he proudly presented to his owner, Nancy. She appreciated the gesture, but what was of more interest is the work Coco's collar had been doing the entire time.
The embedded devices in his collar had turned a simple outdoor cat into a rogue Wi-Fi network mapper. The data showed Bransfield which of his neighbors were using old routers that were easy to hack into.
Since that preliminary run, Bransfield has been carefully honing what he now calls the WarKitteh collar. The device, which he constructs for less than $100, is something anyone can replicate. He hopes they do, but not for illicit purposes. "The result of this cat research was that there were a lot more open and WEP-encrypted [an easily hacked type of wireless encryption] hot spots out there than there should be in 2014," he said during an interview with Wired.
The success of WarKitteh, of course, depends entirely on how adventurous your cat is. One cat Bransfield tried it on didn't move from his coworker's porch. Coco, on the other hand, found 23 hotspots in just three hours. This is just more conclusive evidence that cats, not children, are our future. Loving your cat (and free Wi-Fi) is the greatest love of all. Happy National Cat Day, America. (Wired)