Security Awareness. Wireless Network Security

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Security Awareness

Wireless Network Security


Attacks on Wireless Networks

• Three-step process

– Discovering the wireless network – Connecting to the network

– Launching assaults

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• Beaconing

– At regular intervals, a wireless router sends a signal to announce its presence

• Scanning

– Wireless device looks for the incoming beacon information

• Wireless location mapping

– Also known as war driving

– Finding a beacon from a wireless network and

recording information about it


Discovering (cont’d.)

• Tools needed for war driving

– Mobile computing device – Wireless NIC adapter

– Antenna

• Omnidirectional antenna

– Global positioning system (GPS) receiver – Software

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Discovering (cont’d.)

Figure 5-8 USB wireless NIC

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• Service Set Identifier (SSID)

– ‘‘Network name’’ and can be any alphanumeric string from 2 to 32 characters

• Wireless networks are designed to freely distribute their SSID

• Once a wireless device receives a beacon with the SSID, it can then attempt to join the network

– Virtually nothing that an attacker must do in order to connect

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Connecting (cont’d.)

Figure 5-9 Connecting to a wireless network

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Connecting (cont’d.)

• Some wireless security sources encourage users to configure APs to prevent the beacon from

including the SSID

– Does not provide protection

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Launching Assaults

• Eavesdropping

– Attackers can easily view the contents of transmissions from hundreds of feet away

– Even if they have not connected to the wireless



Launching Assaults (cont’d.)

• Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

– Ensure that only authorized parties can view transmitted wireless information

– Encrypts information into ciphertext – Contains a serious flaw

– Attacker can discover a WEP key in less than one minute

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Launching Assaults (cont’d.)

• Stealing data

– Once connected attacker treated as “trusted user”

– Has access to any shared data

• Injecting malware

– “Trusted user” enters from behind the network’s firewall

– Can easily inject malware

• Storing illegal content

– Can set up storage on user’s computer and store



Launching Assaults (cont’d.)

• Launching denial of service (DoS) attacks

– Denial of service (DoS) attack

• Designed to prevent a device from performing its intended function

– Wireless DoS attacks

• Designed to deny wireless devices access to the wireless router itself

– Packet generator

• Create fake packets; flood wireless network with traffic

– Disassociation frames

• Communication from a wireless device that indicates the device wishes to end the wireless connection

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Launching Assaults (cont’d.)

Figure 5-13 DoS attack using disassociation frames

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Launching Assaults (cont’d.)

• Impersonating a legitimate network

– Attackers will often impersonate legitimate networks in restaurants, coffee shops, airports, etc.

– Does not require wireless router – Ad hoc or peer-to-peer network – Once the connection is made

• Attacker might be able to directly inject malware into the user’s computer or steal data

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Wireless Network Defenses

• Secure the home wireless network

• Use an unprotected public wireless network in the

most secure manner possible


Securing a Home Wireless Network

• Locking down the wireless router

– Create username and password – Do not use default password

– Typical settings on the wireless router login security screen

• Router Password

• Access Server

• Wireless Access Web

• Remote Management

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

Figure 5-15 Wireless router login security screen

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

• Limiting users

– Restrict who can access network by MAC address

• MAC address filter

– Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

• Wireless routers distribute IP addresses to network devices

• Properly configuring settings

• DHCP lease

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

Figure 5-16 MAC address filter

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

• Turning on Wi-Fi protected access 2 (WPA2)

– Personal security model

– Designed for single users or small office settings – Parts

• Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

• Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

– To turn on WPA2

• Choose security mode

• Select WPA Algorithm

• Enter shared key

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

Figure 5-18 Security Mode options

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

Figure 5-19 WPA Algorithms setting

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

• Configuring network settings

– Network Address Translation (NAT)

• Hides the IP addresses of network devices from attackers

• Private addresses

• NAT removes the private IP address from the sender’s packet and replaces it with an alias IP address

– Port address translation (PAT)

• Each packet is sent to a different port number


Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

– Virtual local area networks (VLANs)

• Segment users or network equipment in logical groupings

• Creates a separate virtual network for each user of the wireless network

– Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

• Separate network that sits outside the secure network perimeter

• Limits outside access to the DMZ network only

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

Figure 5-21 Demilitarized zone (DMZ)

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Securing a Home Wireless Network (cont’d.)

– Port forwarding

• More secure than DMZ

• Opens only the ports that need to be available

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Using a Public Wireless Network Securely

• Turning on a personal firewall

– Runs as a program on the user’s local computer – Operates according to a rule base

– Rule options

• Allow

• Block

• Prompt

– Stateless packet filtering – Stateful packet filtering

• Provides more protection


Using a Public Wireless Network Securely (cont’d.)

• Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

– Uses an unsecured public network as if it were a secure private network

– Encrypts all data that is transmitted between the remote device and the network

– Advantages

• Full protection

• Transparency

• Authentication

• Industry standards

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Figure 5-22 Virtual private network (VPN)

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