Safe WLAN Networking with an Encrypted OpenVPN Tunnel

Wireless Secrets

Article from Issue 51/2005

Wireless networks are practical but dangerous at the same time.WEP encryption is unlikely to stop an attacker. But help is at hand in the form of add-on security measures such as an encrypted OpenVPN tunnel.

WLAN technology is insecure – most people are aware of that by now. The integrated encryption technology is easy to break – or even disable in a worst case scenario. Whereas a malevolent hacker would need physical access to your apartment to sniff data off a wired SOHO network, inquisitive strangers can wardrive the streets armed with laptops and WLAN adapters and easily associate with your wireless network. Signal boosters and special antennas extend the range to several hundred yards. Despite the risk, wireless networks are here to stay. The ability to surf the Internet with a laptop from your balcony or garden, or to copy files from a desktop PC to a laptop, enhances the user experience. And this is a good thing, assuming you keep to a few basic security rules that take the risk out of wireless technologies.

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