D Squared Computer Consulting
Wireless Security, Secure your network today!
For both residential and small business owners, wireless security is a major issue. Imagine that you receive a notice from
the RIAA stating that 10,000 songs have been downloaded using your Internet connection and you are liable. You are now
facing a major lawsuit because your neighbor was "borrowing" your wireless connection and you have no proof that it was not
you. Another scenario, you notice someone sitting outside your house or business in their car and they seem to be typing
on a laptop. They could be downloading illegal files, child pornography, music, movies, or just anything. The bad part is
that your network is going to be held liable for the illegal downloads. This is a major risk, let our engineer secure your
wireless network for your home or small business. Don't wait until it is too late, secure your network today.
Wireless security is the prevention of unauthorized access or damage to computers using wireless networks.
Wireless networks are very common, both for organizations and individuals. Many laptop computers have wireless cards pre-
installed. The ability to enter a network while mobile has great benefits. However, wireless networking has many security
issues. Hackers have found wireless networks relatively easy to break into, and even use wireless technology to crack into
The risks to users of wireless technology have increased as the service has become more popular. There were relatively few
dangers when wireless technology was first introduced. Crackers had not yet had time to latch on to the new technology and
wireless was not commonly found in the work place. However, there are a great number of security risks associated with the
current wireless protocols and encryption methods, and in the carelessness and ignorance that exists at the user and
corporate IT level. Cracking methods have become much more sophisticated and innovative with wireless. Cracking has also
become much easier and more accessible with easy-to-use Windows-based and Linux-based tools being made available on
the web at no charge.
Some organizations that have no wireless access points installed do not feel that they need to address wireless security
concerns. In-Stat MDR and META Group have estimated that 95% of all corporate laptop computers that were planned to be
purchased in 2005 were equipped with wireless. Issues can arise in a supposedly non-wireless organization when a wireless
laptop is plugged into the corporate network. A cracker could sit out in the parking lot and break in through the wireless card
on a laptop and gain access to the wired network.
Unauthorized access to company wireless and wired networks can come from a number of different methods and intents. One
of these methods is referred to as “accidental association”. When a user turns on a computer and it latches on to a wireless
access point from a neighboring company’s overlapping network, the user may not even know that this has occurred.
However, it is a security breach in that proprietary company information is exposed and now there could exist a link from one
company to the other. This is especially true if the laptop is also hooked to a wired network.
“Malicious associations” are when wireless devices can be actively made by crackers to connect to a company network through
their cracking laptop instead of a company access point (AP). These types of laptops are known as “soft APs” and are
created when a cracker runs some software that makes his/her wireless network card look like a legitimate access point.
Once the cracker has gained access, he/she can steal passwords, launch attacks on the wired network, or plant trojans. Since
wireless networks operate at the Layer 2 level, Layer 3 protections such as network authentication and virtual private
networks (VPNs) offer no barrier. Wireless 802.1x authentications do help with protection but are still vulnerable to cracking.
The idea behind this type of attack may not be to break into a VPN or other security measures. Most likely the cracker is just
trying to take over the client at the Layer 2 level.
Ad-hoc networks can pose a security threat. Ad-hoc networks are defined as peer-to-peer networks between wireless
computers that do not have an access point in between them. While these types of networks usually have little protection,
encryption methods can be used to provide security.