WiMax's Small Steps to Security

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s decision last week to spend $3 billion on a new high-speed wireless network gear catapulted WiMax right into the public eye. But what Sprint didn't talk about -- and is less well understood -- is what security measures will protect users who move over to the broadband wireless network. (See Sprint Goes WiMax.)

Analysts, industry experts, and operators are expecting to see some of the same kinds of attacks undertaken against the older 802.11 WiFi standard used against its younger sibling. "I expect we'll see similar problems with [WiMax] as we've seen with other devices, namely weak management protocols and vulnerable applications -- embedded Web servers, unencrypted access via telnet and SNMP V1 and V2," says ex-Tipping Point security consultant Shawn Merdinger.

Security will become a bigger issue with WiMax and other high-speed wireless services, if enterprise experience with WLAN technologies is any indication. Access and authentication remain key wireless concerns for enterprise buyers and users.

There is, however, an increasing awareness that wireless's weakest link may not be in the security methods used to protect it, but rather in the insecure coding at the software driver level, which can be exploited by clever hackers.

Read the whole story at Dark Reading.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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