Light Reading

Users Eye New 802.11 Security Issues

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

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
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing SDN & NFV Architectures Through Application Awareness

4|23|14   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


Jerome Tollet, CTO at Qosmos, explains how network equipment vendors and operators deploying SDN and NFV can take advantage of network intelligence delivered by DPI to strengthen products and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
What's the Magic of Private Equity?
Carolyn Mathas, 4/22/2014
AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed