I recently stumbled upon some questions blatantly asking for help in cracking wireless security passwords (Have a look at the tag ). Should those be flagged as "unwanted in our community"?

This question is similar, but I am asking specifically about hacking into a wireless network. The only legitimate reason I can imagine is hacking into your own just for fun :). I doubt that is what most people are interested in.

  • 4
    So, basically, as long as they don't make their nefarious intent too obvious we are ok with it? Fine by me, this is an issue of protocol, not morality as far as I am concerned. – terdon Aug 17 '12 at 17:45
  • possible duplicate of Questions dealing with Hacking – KronoS Aug 17 '12 at 18:05
up vote 43 down vote accepted

If I teach someone how to pick a lock, it's his decision if he wants to become a burglar or a locksmith.

If a question is like "Hey, how do I crack my neighbors WiFi?" then those are horrible questions and will be closed anyway.

If the question is scientific and someone has done some actual research about a given security aspect, then, by all means, it's welcome.

If someone has an issue with a well known "security auditing" application, then that is welcome as well. The importance is to solve the problem at hand. We're not just solving problems for single users here, we're solving issues for many possible people who might have the same issue.

Maybe that one person had bad things in mind, but maybe 10 others with the same problem have a legitimate reason.

  • Great response -- particularly the first line (I'm sure I'll end up citing it). – fish2000 Aug 19 '12 at 19:04

This is my personal opinion.

There are actual, legitimate reasons to do something like this:

  • You want to know how secure your own network is against e.g. wardrivers.
  • To become a locksmith, you need to know how to break locks. Actually doing things is how we learn.

This site aims to facilitate learning and understanding. Some knowledge can be used to harm others. The same knowledge however, can be used to protect.


That being said, if the users are actually stupid enough to mention their neighbors' Wi-Fi, by all means, flag it, vote to close it, or better yet, edit it so it's about the technology, not about their motivation. If the answers they get don't fit their actual problem, tough.

  • 1
    The last sentence is perfect – Canadian Luke Aug 18 '12 at 16:59

Most network hacking questions will probably be more on-topic at IT Security. There have been several Meta discussions as to how on-topic "black-hat" type stuff should be. Here's one of the most recent:

https://security.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/897/clarify-our-stance-on-black-hat-questions

There's a new Q&A site in Area51 called Computer Security Hacking that might be a more appropriate place for these questions if it gains traction.

  • 2
    closed as duplicate of IT Security by Shog9♦ Nov 14 at 0:27 – Daniel Beck Dec 8 '12 at 20:42

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