Want free wifi? It might be time to get a cat.
Security researcher Gene Bransfield managed to turn his wife's grandmother's pet cat Coco into a roaming detector for free Wifi using a custom-built collar. The device (see a picture here) was made from a Wi-Fi card, GPS module, Spark Core chip, battery and some fetching leopard print fabric.
When prowling through her Washington DC neighbourhood Coco the cat found 23 unique wifi networks, including four that were totally open and four that were easily broken.
Bransfield explained in a DefCon talk titled "how to weaponise your pets" that he was partly motivated by his own amusement, and partly by his desire to expose security flaws. "I put some technology on a cat and let it roam around because the idea amused me. But the result of this cat research was that there were a lot more open and WEP-encrypted hot spots out there than there should be in 2014."