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Guide to wireless attacks

Here is everything security consultants and systems integrators need to know about attacks against 802.11 and 802.1X in an easy reference list. Learn about five different types of threats, associated hacker methods and tools.

Ensuring wireless network security is an essential part of managing wireless networks. Learn about five different types of wireless security threats in this tip about attacks on networks using 802.11 and 802.1X wireless LAN standards.

Wireless attacks, A to Z
In our buzzword-filled industry, wrapping your arms around wireless attacks and their potential business impacts can be tough. This tip tries to bring order to this chaos by providing a reference list of attacks against 802.11 and 802.1X, categorized by type of threat, and mapped to associated hacker methods and tools.

Access control attacks
These attacks attempt to penetrate a network by using wireless or evading WLAN access control measures, like AP MAC filters and 802.1X port access controls.

Type of Attack Description Methods and Tools
War Driving Discovering wireless LANs by listening to beacons or sending probe requests, thereby providing launch point for further attacks. DStumbler, KisMAC, MacStumbler, NetStumbler, WaveStumbler, Wellenreiter
Rogue Access Points Installing an unsecured AP inside firewall, creating open backdoor into trusted network. Any hardware or software AP
Ad Hoc Associations Connecting directly to an unsecured station to circumvent AP security or to attack station. Any wireless card or USB adapter
MAC Spoofing Reconfiguring an attacker's MAC address to pose as an authorized AP or station. Bwmachak,, SirMACsAlot, SMAC, Wellenreiter, wicontrol
802.1X RADIUS Cracking Recovering RADIUS secret by brute force from 802.1X access request, for use by evil twin AP. Packet capture tool on LAN or network path between AP and RADIUS server

Read more on how to prevent wireless attacks and ensure wireless network security.

About the author
Lisa Phifer owns Core Competence, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in network security and management technology. Core Competence produces The Internet Security Conference (TISC), an annual symposium for network security professionals. Phifer has been involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of data communications, internetworking, security, and network management products for nearly 20 years.

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