CHAPTER 8 Securing Wireless Systems

Ever hear the saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”? Consider the not-too-distant past when people used modems and dialup accounts. During this time, wardialing became very popular. Programs such as ToneLoc and Scan were popular. Hackers of the time called ranges of phone numbers looking for systems with modems tied to them. Administrators fought back by limiting the hours that modems were on, using callback systems, and adding caller ID.

Then came the move to the early Internet. The same techniques were used, but instead of wardialing, port scanning was used to search for access to vulnerable systems. Administrators were forced to add firewalls and intrusion detection, and to filter access to unneeded ports at the edge of the network. Today, most networks have some wireless components, which can include wireless networks for guests, Bluetooth connectivity for mice or headsets, or even ZigBee Home Automation. Attackers see wireless in the same way they viewed previous technologies. Wardriving tools can be used to connect to unsecured networks, or wireless cracking tools can be used in an attempt to break weak encryption. Again, administrators must be ready to respond to the threat.

This chapter covers attacking and securing wireless systems. I start by discussing some wireless basics, and then move on to methods used to attack and secure wireless systems. Wireless communication plays a big role in most people’s lives, ...

Get The Network Security Test Lab: A Step-by-Step Guide now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.