Mike Puchol

Also known as Mother in wireless and security communities (after the character Dan Aykroyd plays in the movie Sneakers), I started out breaking stuff at a very young age. Electronics, radio communications and aeronautics always fascinated me, to the point of graduating with honors at Salford University in 1997 in Aeronautical Engineering, and then proceeding to build a career around wireless technologies, security and electronics. My most important contribution to the early WiFi scene has been StumbVerter, which is a tool that converts Netstumbler logs into MapPoint maps, showing access points as colored towers, and providing some extra features such as the Antenna Comparison Tool. This tool has been downloaded over 500.000 times so far, and still gets some 500 monthly downloads. I was invited to participate in the writing of the book Wardriving: Drive, Detect, Defend, published by Syngress, and in which Chris Hurley (Roamer), Frank Thornton (Thorn) and Russ Rogers did a really great job. It was published August 1st, 2004. Currently, I moderate the netstumbler.org and remote-exploit.org forums, and participate in a number of forums and IRC channels related to wireless and security. Until January 2009, I worked as CTO at Whisher, a WiFi sharing startup based in Barcelona. I helped transition the technology to wifi.com after their acquisition, and I currently work on a number of engineering & technology projects, while looking for the next big thing, all while teaching maths and natural sciences to high school kids at Viaró. I have been involved with the fire service for over sixteen years now, with a four year pause during which I was a member of the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team in Cheshire, UK. My first stint was in an airport fire service in Essex, where I learned the ropes on fighting pressurized fuel line fires (using all kinds of fuels, including natural gas), SCBA work, and CFBT. When I returned to Spain, I joined my home town’s volunteer fire department, which is run by the township – in itself a rarity, as there are only three towns in the northeast that do this. We are currently OK on staff, but lack equipment and training for the new members, so we are fighting on different fronts to fix these shortcomings. When did my interest in emergency services start? When I was just over a year old, and before saying ‘mama’, I learned to say ‘fireman’ when I saw a passing truck on a run.