Doctor Who-style WiFi


Spoilers, sweetie…

If you didn’t catch the latest episode of Doctor Who, here’s the plot: Random people connect to strangely-named WiFi networks and later have their conciousness uploaded to the Internet with the help of spoonheaded robots. To the non-Whovian that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but [Tony Box] figured out a way to replicate the effect with a Linux box and a USB WiFi card, just in time for a great April Fool’s gag.

For the SSID, the folks over on reddit decided the best characters come from the Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics Unicode block. [Tony] then set up a laptop with a USB wifi card with hostapd, and dnsmasq to change the SSID and DHCP leases. nginx serves up a simple web page with a short clip from the episode (of a spoonhead uploading a conciousness).

Here’s what’s really interesting: [Tony] is using a captive portal, so something like the webpage that shows up when you log on to the internet in a coffee shop or hotel. When the victim of this prank logs on to The Great Intelligence’s WiFi, they’re presented with a webpage containing the video of the spoonhead.

You can check out [Tony]‘s demo of his build after the break.


  1. Hugh says:

    That’s fantastic.

  2. M4rc3lv says:

    Very good! I watched this episode this weekend on the BBC. It’s very funny. I want it too.

  3. gannon says:

    I need to figure out how to hack into people using javascript and html still…

  4. alex says:

    I want that desktop background image …

  5. Hirudinea says:

    I know this has nothing to do with anything but I think that syllabics just look cool…

  6. Hizzo3 says:

    I love how they were all ‘hacking’ I was laughing thinking about the other thread on worst hacking ever. Kinda reminded me of puppets typing on keyboards…

    Although, I would like the Dr.’s mobile phone… maybe Google will add that feature to the next Nexus :)

    • Its safe to say the writers doing it deliberately here – This is the writer that wrote the end of Sherlock season 2 , which featured possibly the greatest case of being both troupe aware, and trolling the tech crowd.

  7. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    I wonder… At least in the US, SSIDs using visibly-unicode(obviously ascii, latin1, etc. have been incorporated as subsets for convenience) characters are pretty rare. I wonder how many devices and OSes and horrid vendor wifi utilities there are out there that puke in amusing and/or vulnerable ways if you try some of the more eccentric unicode bits on them?

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