Hobbit-inspired sword can help you find unsecured WiFi hotspots

Like many others, I was enchanted by The Hobbit (and later Lord of the Rings) at a young age – long before Peter Jackson turned J R R Tolkien’s middle-earth fantasy books into a series of blockbuster movies.

So you can just imagine my whoop of delight when I read that fellow nerds at Spark IO have taken some Hobbit-related merchandise and modified it to give it a security spin on things.

You may remember Sting, the mythical Elvish dagger carried by Bilbo Baggins, and later handed down to his nephew Frodo.

“Somehow the killing of this giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.’”

What made Sting special was that it would glow brightly when dangerous Orcs were close by. Which was certainly handy if you were on a quest there and back again…

Well, there may not be many Orcs around these days, so WarSting takes things in another direction. It glows when there is an unsecured WiFi hotspot in the vicinity.

Furthermore, it will then jump onto the unprotected WiFi and post a message that says:

[YOUR WI-FI NETWORK] has been vanquished!

You can see WarSting in action for yourself in the following YouTube video:

A gimmick? Of course. But do I want one? Hell yes!

Full details about how you can build your very own WarSting (you will need to be comfortable with a soldering iron) can be found on the Spark IO blog.

And before you see someone walking into your office in the new year, swinging a plastic sword about, maybe you should just check that your own WiFi access points are properly secured? Be sure to read We Live Security’s simple tips for securing your WiFi router.

Are there other toys or movie merchandise that you think could be improved to incorporate a computer security angle? Leave a comment below.

Author Graham Cluley, We Live Security

  • Coyote

    “Somehow the killing of this giant spider, all alone by himself in the
    dark made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person,
    and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped
    his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you
    a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.’”

    Funny. I remember all but the very last sentence (if I ever develop dementia they’re going to have one hell of a time figuring it out – I wouldn’t have remembered that I remembered (which is the same as I wouldn’t know if – or what – I forgot) the above unless it was cited. And I certainly would have forgotten Sting if that wasn’t included, too. Amusing as it may be, that is more serious than it might seem). Ironically, right before clicking ‘Post’, I actually have this vague memory of him naming it, after all. Dementia? What’s that?

    As for the sword and this version of it. I would like it too. But while I would like this version, I’d more so like the ‘real’ version. If I was comfortable with soldering I would do this (and I would possibly do similar with the the Star Wars lightsabre …). Of course, I’d also like orcs, elves, goblins, dragons (SMAUG!), trolls, dwarves, … to be real. But perhaps it is best it isn’t reality… Perhaps I’m in dire need of help. Whatever. Everyone fantasises about something. Right?

    Thanks for a different (as always) way of looking at the WiFi issue itself (the fact it involves Middle Earth is just a bonus).

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