The Origin of War Driving
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Why does “war driving” use the term “war?” Admittedly, the practice of war driving is an attempt to obtain information illicitly, but a better term might be something like “Eavesdrop driving.”
The term “war chalking” seems to have come along as a Johnny-come-lately term for “war driving.” War driving was already firmly entrenched in the Wi-Fi counter-culture, so when the newer grass-roots activity of marking Wi-Fi hotspots came along, perhaps it seemed natural to use the “war” word. But how was “war driving” named in the first place?
The term derives from “war dialing,” which was the pre-broadband hacker practice of programming a computer to dial hundreds of dial-up access numbers, hoping to find one that was not protected (or could easily be cracked). It was popularized by the movie War Games (1983).