Light Reading

Users Eye New 802.11 Security Issues

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
8/11/2006
50%
50%

Some of the underlying 802.11 security issues revealed at the recent Black Hat security show have led some experts to recommend that users turn off their WiFi radios when not in use.

A presentation by Jon Ellch and David Maynor showed a video demo of a hack using the underlying wireless drivers to quickly access a Mac computer, although the attack also works against Windows machines. (See Intel's Centrino Vulnerability.) The two researchers demonstrated how wireless drivers could establish a connection and seize control of a laptop, even if the laptop was not associated with any WiFi access point. The two-step demonstration forced the victim's notebook to establish a connection to the hacker's PC, and seized control of the laptop once the connection was established.

This exploit could potentially allow attackers to commandeer anyone's laptop -- as long as a wireless capability is installed and enabled. The demo has renewed enterprise concerns about the security fitness of 802.11 once again.

Roger Cass, CTO at healthcare firm MediSync, says he will take a number of measures to protect against the threat. "Our first step would be to caution our laptop users to leave their radios off unless they are actively using them," he tells Unstrung. "Next would be to avoid using hotspots unless necessary."

"Lastly, we would have to wait for driver fixes from the radio manufacturers. Since this was a hot topic, I imagine some patches will be forthcoming. The key is to find the updated drivers and install them," Cass said.

Third-party WiFi security companies such as AirTight Networks Inc. and Network Chemistry Inc. have already piped up to say that their products protect against the hack.

The key danger, however, is likely to be a lack of user awareness about when their WiFi radio is actually enabled. Often, many users simply do not realize that they are connected via WiFi -- either in the office or in a public space. (See Five WiFi VOIP Security Issues .)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
alockhart
50%
50%
alockhart,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:44:53 AM
re: Users Eye New 802.11 Security Issues
It should be noted that these vulnerabilities are caused by poor coding and/or testing in the drivers for wireless cards from Intel and Apple. To put the risk into perspective, at DEFCON, over 60 percent of the wireless devices detected were from these two vendors. However, these types of issues have a much broader reach and likely affect more than just Intel and Apple.

These latest examples of vulnerabilities in wireless cards reflect a growing trend of vulnerabilities being found in the wireless client packages and drivers. Prior examples have been recognized and documented by the Wireless Vulnerabilities and Exploits project (www.wirelessve.org). Earlier this year an integer overflow was discovered in FreeBSDGÇÖs 802.11 stack (WVE-2006-0004). Additionally, both Linux and Windows have driver and other low-level disclosure vulnerabilities that can reveal the contents of a systemGÇÖs memory to remote attackers (WVE-2006-0005, WVE-2006-0047, and WVE-2006-0043).
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed