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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SDN, the Road to Open Innovation

6|22|15   |   3:18   |   (0) comments


Open source is changing the industry, and Huawei is committed to Open Innovation.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Business Pursues $5B Market

6|19|15   |   5:18   |   (0) comments


In this LRTV interview, Cox Business SVP Steve Rowley discusses how his unit aims to capture more of the commercial market in its territories.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
WiFi Calling Catches on Globally
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 6/23/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Verizon Closes AOL, Hints at Summer Launch
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2015
First Net Neutrality Complaint Hits TWC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones