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  • CWNP

Hacking & Solutions: Cracking Cisco LEAP Authentication

This article is presented as part of hacking + solution track for Wireless Security Expo 2008.

By watching the "Cracking Cisco LEAP" video, you will discover just how insecure LEAP is.  It takes only seconds to break using any reasonable dictionary file and commonly available and user-friendly software tools. 

 

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Home Wireless Security

Cisco just released an article talking about how greater diligence is needed toward home Wi-Fi security.

http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=817510

No doubt about it - they're right.  So what is the market supposed to do?  We have Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) that dumbs Wi-Fi security down to a point where any chimpanzee could configure it.  In my humble opinion, configuring WPA2-Personal with a strong passphrase is almost that easy as well when you're dealing with a SOHO class AP or WLAN router.  I'm not sure it can get any easier from a technical standpoint.  Hey, wait, I've got an idea - EDUCATION!

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Wi-Fi Protocol Analyzers on Linux

So far, all we have is Wireshark and a hot-rodded version thereof called Airpcap by Cace Technologies.  I'd love to see some of the vendors that we've been using for some time now (e.g. AirMagnet, Wildpackets, Tamosoft, AirDefense, Network Chemistry (now Aruba), and even Fluke Networks) come out with a made-for-Linux version of their laptop-based protocol analysis software.  Why?  Because I think that Microsoft is going to bite the dust with Vista.  I hate Vista, though I've always been a big fan of XP/sp2.  Everyone I know that has used Vista hates Vista - and complains constantly.  I'm reasonably sure that Vista even has a bad case of self-loathing.  With no reasonable path forward with the Windows operating system, that leaves us poor networking junkies with two equally scary choices:

MAC or Linux

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Antennas Make All The Difference

I've recently had the good fortune to play with a WLAN system from Ruckus Wireless, a WLAN infrastructure company focused primarily on SMB and broadband operators.  Besides having a user interface to die for, it's also a snap to deploy...and when i say "snap", I'm literally talking a couple of minutes.  You plug it in, wait for it to boot up, and by the time you've located the default login parameters, the APs have discovered the controller and all is operational.  Upon initial login, you set up your initial WLAN profile with a wizard that seems to be made for 3 year olds.  Once completed, you find yourself at a loss for words...or actions.  There's nothing left to do unless of course you have a diverse array of user groups, each with different connectivity and security needs.  If you have one of those "nightmare" scenarios (like so many administrators do), prepare to spend at least another 3 minutes configuring the controller...yes, minutes.

Everything seems to be self-configuring.  AP connectivity, channels, power - you name it, it's all automagic.  Having said all of that, I saved the best for last.

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Mesh has never been easier

For a long time, I avoided mesh like the plague.  It was non-standard, and everyone had their own radically different take on how things should be done.  After what I'd call a slow start, Firetide has really made some snazzy moves over the last year.  I just spent 8 hours in the lab going through the latest available indoor mesh hardware and code.  What can I say?  It just works. Continue reading...

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4.9 GHz Public Safety Band

Suppose that you had a Wi-Fi system that can use 4.9 GHz.  Nevermind where you got it...let's say eBay just for giggles.  Let's also say that this system can do 400 mW and you stumbled across a Ubiquiti SRC4 400mW 4.9 GHz card as well.  Now you have a generally invisible, mostly interference-free, completely illegal home Wi-Fi system that will significantly interfere with fire, police, and a dozen other public agencies if cranked up to max power.  Running a business on something like this would just be stupid, but what do you think the chances are of a home user getting caught doing this? Continue reading...

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Co-channel interference

While 802.11a/b/g stations connect to APs at data rates anywhere from 54 Mbps down to 1 Mbps, when the network is properly designed, data rates are kept as high as possible.  It's important to consider, however, that just because the slowest client might be connected at 12 Mbps in a cell, that doesn't mean that the RF signal just stops right there at that client.  On the contrary, the signal keeps going well past where a user might connect at 1 Mbps.  Even at this great distance from the AP, the RF energy is strong enough to cause clients to defer transmissions due to "busy" clear channel assessments.  This distance might be hundreds of feet indoors, depending on the environment.  In addition to the energy emitted by AP transmissions, one must consider the energy emitted by client transmissions as well.  Clients move away from APs while transmitting, and thus cause co-channel interference at a much greater range even than the AP can cause. 

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Architecture Naming

There are two distinct types of architectures in today's WLAN infrastructures.  Each goes by several different names.  Today's WLAN newcomers can be easily confused by having several names for the same thing as well as trying to understand the nuance between each vendor's implementation.  I'd like to clarify some common terminolgy. Continue reading...

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Useability

What good is a piece of networking equipment if the end user can't effeciently operate it?  By 'operate' I mean install, correctly configure, and make on-going changes to. Hardware and software platforms in the WLAN industry have grown outrageously complex trying to meet the ever-growing demands of today's enterprise.  Sometimes organizations buy equipment based solely on specs, and soon thereafter develop a serious case of buyer's remorse due to useability problems.  Let's take the WLAN controller as an example.

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802.11n: 5 Reasons to Go For It!

1.  The technology works.  

With all of the vendors racing to be first, there's already a significant number of successful enterprise 802.11n deployments that prove that the technology actually works.  This is, of course, on top of all of the certification testing completed by the Wi-Fi Alliance.  I've tested a number of client adapters (Mini-PCIe, CardBus, USB, etc) and a small number of enterprise 802.11n APs.  They work.

 

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