Attacks on wireless clients


Article from Issue 56/2005

Security experts are always concerned with WLAN access points, but they sometimes forget that the client is also open to attack. Public hotspots make it quite easy for attackers to hijack connections, as the Hotspotter tool demonstrates.

Thanks to today’s complex security mechanisms, wireless networks appear to be getting safer by the minute. Authentication constructions based on the EAP framework (Extensible Authentication Protocol) promises to keep uninvited guests at bay. The Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) [1], with its quickly changing WEP keys, prevents replay attacks and makes cracking the encryption technology more complex. And keys are getting longer. WPA/ WPA2 [2] and the move to AES encryption [3] would seem to provide a nearly perfect security solution for enterprise networks. And just to make sure, access points are also equipped with VLAN support, Intrusion Detection, and firewalling systems – all of which cost serious sums of money.

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