Talk Talk's discovery of unsecured WiFi has been described as surprising but nothing to be overly concerned about.
Guillaume Lovet, senior manager of Fortinet's Threat Research Team, claimed that the proposition for shutting off file sharers had happened in France, which he described as a ‘real fiasco'.
Commenting on the security of people's home WiFi settings, Lovet said: “No-one has completely secure WiFi because WPA is not foolproof, you can hack into it in under a minute so it is quite easy to hack into.”
With regards to using another person's WiFi to access the internet, he said: “If a terrorist hacked into a nuclear power plant and used your computer as a proxy, are you going to be responsible?”
Stuart Okin, managing director of Comsec Consulting, said: “The fact that there were 20 or so WiFi users completely unprotected has surprised me. You cannot buy a wireless box without a baseline security service as it has WEP and a key and the chances are that it cannot be guessed.
“One of the homes had security but if a person has basic security that does not change for two to three years. It does surprise me, but what is the risk? What is the realistic risk that some guy will drive up and just steal music, and what are the chances that someone will try to steal your identity?
“Put into perspective this is not the end of the world, and it is unlikely that someone doing this is trying to steal your identity, in a few years it may be more but not now.”
Answering the question on whether the actions contravened privacy rules, in a similar way that the BBC Click broadcast was criticised, Sophos' senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, said: “From the look of the BBC report, they got the permission of the owners of the WiFi accounts and claim that their downloads did not break piracy laws - so I don't think this is a replay of the 'BBC Botnet' farrago from earlier this year.”