Beating the Snoops

A rare tech sector that's booming: encryption for wireless networks

Preparing a conference presentation a few minutes before going onstage is cutting it close for some, but Gordon Mitchell, an information-security expert, wanted to make a point to an audience of skeptics about just how vulnerable they might be. Shortly before speaking to a group of corporate-intelligence specialists, Mitchell, 59, flipped open his laptop, plugged in an antenna and within moments slipped through the back door left open by the unprotected signal of the Seattle conference hotel's wireless network. "I was looking at their firewall from the inside," Mitchell says. "All the things they were using to protect themselves were useless,"...

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