‘Kitteh’ finds all the unsecure Wi-Fi with new collar

11 Aug 2014

A new hi-tech cat collar designed to sniff out unsecure Wi-Fi connections, known as the ‘War Kitteh’, has been showcased at one of the world’s largest hacking events.

Known as Def Con, the convention held in Las Vegas brings some of the world’s brightest and best hackers together and, in many cases, showcases unique and strange security tools.

The War Kitteh collar, while appearing entirely harmless, actually contains a Spark Core Wi-Fi development board which uses the Spark.io operating system to ‘sniff out’ any Wi-Fi broadcasting devices in people’s homes that might be unsecure. The cat’s location, meanwhile, is monitored using GPS and data stored on the device’s SD card, according to The Guardian.

However, the War Kitteh collar’s creators at Tenacity Solutions have emphasised they don’t intend to release an army of fluffy soldiers to harvest homeowners’ Wi-Fi information, but rather to raise awareness amongst them over the vulnerabilities that exist in their systems.

On one of its test runs, the War Kitteh-wearing cat picked up 23 vulnerable premises, four of which had no password protection on them.

Gene Bransfield of Tenacity Solutions told The Guardian the hacking community has spent far too long abusing its position and knowledge, rather than sharing it with the wider public.

“It’s been a failure of the industry and of Def Con-like hackers to appropriately communicate this stuff to people,” he said. “We need to do a better job of communicating this stuff … You don’t want to scare the shit out of them. You want to effectively communicate to them what the issues are.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic