I downloaded Tails and burned a CD through Disk Utility and successfully booted the CD on my computer. I wasn't knowingly connected to internet (wire unplugged and my router wifi button is always off) but I could see my neighbors' wifi networks. Is that normal? I didn't click on them (I haven't used wifi in a long time, like years).

Also the default Pidgin user id login example was a name similar to someone I know. Should I be worried? I got freaked out and thought maybe this was a man in the middle attack and shut down and shredded the CD.

I am overwhelmed with seeing all this information specific to me.

1 Answer 1


When you were burning the CD, and it said it was verified, all it did was check that the image had been burnt correctly. This happens whenever you burn a CD/DVD, regardless of what's being burnt to it. (See here for details of what this verification actually does.)

It has nothing to do with checking the authenticity of the Tails image, which you'd need to use these instructions to do.

I'm suspecting Tails starts up with wireless "on" by default, given that one of its main uses is to connect to the internet anonymously. (Someone else can confirm this - I run Tails in a VM, so I don't use wireless natively.) Your router's wireless being off has no effect here - it's the wireless adaptor in your laptop/PC that can see your neighbour's networks, not your router.

The default Pidgin ID on my Tails installation is cyranne. Googling this would seem to suggest it's quite an uncommon name, so it's possible it's actually an acronym or something generated.

It doesn't sound like there's too much to worry about. However, to put your mind at rest, I'd recommend verifying the authenticity of your Tails download.

  • 1
    Correct me if i'm wrong, but I thought the Pidgin ID was randomly generated on first use.
    – nullUser
    Sep 12, 2015 at 16:46
  • I'm willing to believe that - do you have a pointer to some documentation that shows this is the case for Tails? Sep 12, 2015 at 19:39
  • "Every time you start Tails, a random username is generated for all Pidgin accounts." - tails.boum.org/doc/anonymous_internet/pidgin/index.en.html Sep 20, 2015 at 9:30

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