Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why 802.11 is Vulnerable

There are two main reasons that 802.11-based wireless systems
are vulnerable at the network level:

1 Inherent trust allows wireless systems to come and go as they please on the network. Practically everything about 802.11 is open by default, from authentication to cleartext communications to a dangerous lack of frame authentication. In addition to this equivalent of a 'Hack Me' sign, wireless networks don’t have the same layer of physical security present in wired networks.

2 Common network issues that 802.11 has inherited from its wired siblings enable attackers to exploit network-based vulnerabilities easily, regardless of the transmission medium. The suspect activities allowed under 802.11 defaults include
MAC-address spoofing, system scanning and enumeration, and packet sniffing. For openers. Okay, some of these random comments overlap material in previous posts . But the aim in this weBlog is to give you the basis for a good overall assessment of your wireless systems at
its most fundamental technical level....the network level.