If you’re like the millions of people in America who watched the Seahawks walk all over Peyton Manning’s chances for a pay bump next year, you might have accidentally figured out how to log in to the stadium’s internal Wi-Fi network.
Normally these systems are reserved for those working on the broadcast, namely various defensive and offensive coordinators who do most of their communication through devices like the iPad these days. But due to the broadcast, suddenly anyone who was paying attention to Twitter and attending the game (which would be understandable, considering how boring it got to watch the Seahawks roll over Denver past the third quarter), would have free reign on a network designed to hold 500 IP addresses, tops.
Under the username “markos”, all anyone sitting in the stands would have needed to do was enter that and the password “w3Lc0m3!HERE” to troll around on the MetLife operational networks.
BCommunity blogs, and Twitter went into a frenzy trying to find people who could connect up for them at the stadium, however their efforts would very quickly find themselves to be in vain. The network admins working at the time must have caught on fairly quick, because within minutes the credentials had been changed and everyone who had gotten in were thusly booted right back out.
Much like, and this is the last one people so soak it in: the Denver Broncos were booted out of East Rutherford, New Jersey on that cold, windy Sunday afternoon when Tim Tebow finally got his sweet revenge.
MetLife runs a separate, free network designed to handle a significantly higher load of traffic and users, often providing more than enough bandwidth for the 82,000 capacity thunderdome of sport.
Last year the Super Bowl committee enacted a similar policy with electronic devices to their “no outside food” effort, stating that they were attempting to prevent “rogue access points or rogue equipment from attempting to operate in the same frequency”.
Their theory is anyone who hacks that network could spy on the team’s plays before they get a chance to make them, and maybe even sell that information back to the other coach for a wildly exorbitant price.
How qualified they are to say what is and isn’t safe after displaying their Wi-Fi password to millions of people is debatable, but at least there were no major problems after the quick fix this time around.