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  • CWNP

Push-Button Pen Testing

Push-Button Pen Testing: That's my phrase.  I came up with it yesterday.  It's a whole new class of automated hacking...uh, I mean penetration testing...products.  I got to see Silica-U from Immunity yesterday.  This thing is slick.  They finally ported it over from a Nokia N810 Internet tablet to a desktop Linux version (which I got to see running on my favorite Linux distribution - Ubuntu).  It worked just as described.  No longer do you have to remember WEP keys, WPA passphrases, LEAP usernames and passwords (in a future release).  Isn't that great?

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  • CWNP

Attacks on WiFi: Reflections on Recently Revealed Vulnerabilities

In the last couple of weeks, we've witnessed a flurry of activities in the wireless security space. Security researchers have revealed a couple of new attacks on WiFi infrastructure – Skyjacking and an improved attack on WPA-TKIP. This post provides a high level overview of both of these attacks.

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  • CWNP

No TKIP or No Certification

OK, so here's the thing.  The Wi-Fi Alliance's board approved, on March 26, 2009, additional testing to disallow the use of TKIP with HT MCS rates.  Tests were started the next day, and by Sept 1, 2009, all devices must comply.  Big whoop, right?  Well, not with the fact that 18 of 18 APs and 10 of 14 STAs have failed to date.  I wonder how the Wi-Fi Alliance is going to handle that?  Do they suddenly decertify equipment?  Do they extend the deadline?  Do they re-evaluate their decision to make this "feature" mandatory?

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  • CWNP

MediaFlex-o-matic

I'm talking about Ruckus's MediaFlex.  Everything is automagic.  No, seriously.  Plug it in, wait a few seconds, and poof: you have an automatically-selected 5 GHz (40 MHz) UNII channel moving HD IPTV.  Coverage?  Not a problem with Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) - Ruckus's trademark feature.  The AP was downstairs in the basement, and the two TVs were upstairs.  Without TxBF, there's no way this could've happened in 5 GHz.  Clarity?  As good as the RG59 cable that our AT&T U-verse receivers were using prior to testing the Ruckus MediaFlex 7000 series system...and yes, I unplugged the RG59 cables before testing! :-)

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  • CWNP

Rogue AP Prevention: Duping (802)Dot1X Access Control

“You can't solve social problems with software” – Marcus Ranum

We have covered two sources of WiFi threats in my previous blog posts – Rogue AP and Client mis-configurations. It has been encouraging to see quality comments from readers – some of them have pointed out why 802.1X is the “preferred” way to mitigate the Rogue AP problem. In this post, we will dig a little bit deeper into this. IEEE 802.1X port-based access control provides an authentication mechanism for devices wishing to communicate via a port (e.g., a LAN port). If the authentication fails, it disallows further communication via the port. 802.1X is a simple form of Network Access Control (NAC) solution – a generalized NAC can provide additional functionality such as fine-grained access control, identity management, access management, and quarantining non-compliant clients (e.g., ones without proper anti-virus protection).

I think that 802.1X is a good first step in securing your network from Rogue APs. It does provide some control on the relatively deterministic part of the problem – the wire. However, as I had hinted in my earlier post, I believe that 802.1X (or even a generalized NAC, for that matter) alone is not sufficient for mitigating Rogue APs. Here are my reasons:

 

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  • CWNP

Determinism

Call it what you will: Deterministic, Utility, or Automatic.  I don't really care what you call it if you can make Wi-Fi "just work."  Every vendor will tell you a different story to tell on how to build "Wi-Fi that works" based on their own networking philosophy and feature sets, and every network administrator has a different view of what "Wi-Fi that works" means.

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  • CWNP

SWEETNESS!

That's what I think about it.  It's just pure sweetness.  Fluke buys AirMagnet.  I'll be the first to admit that I never saw it coming...never.  I thought it would be Cisco.  In hind-sight, the Fluke acquisition makes perfect sense of course.  Fluke has reigned in the Ethernet diagnostic market for years, and a young newcomer had taken that spot within the Wi-Fi market.  Fluke has had Wi-Fi diagnostic gear for some time, and their people are extremely committed to their cause, but their product portfolio simply hasn't stacked up against the market leaders...until now.  Apparently they have, in one very bold step, moved to center stage of the diagnostics market en total.  Unreal.

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  • CWNP

King of Websites

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss

OK, let's talk about Wi-Fi manufacturer websites.  Let's be totally honest: most of them just suck.  Don't worry, I'm not going totally negative here.  There is one company who has figured out just how important the public-facing part of the company really is.  I'll put my flag in the dirt right here: RuckusWireless.com is the best website in the Wi-Fi industry.  Bluntly, it kicks everyone else's butt.  If I were grading, it would be an A+.  Clean, beautiful, personal, friendly, easy navigation, and I could go on.  It more-or-less lets you peer directly into the company - getting to know the people, the products, the direction, and more.  They have a blog site called TheRuckusRoom.net that's equally as good.  The list below isn't meant to insult anyone.  It's meant as constructive feedback, because I really hope every website below could be graded as an A within a year (including our own).

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  • CWNP

Wireless (In)Security: 5 WiFi Client (Mis)Uses

My previous post (WiFi Rogue AP: 5 Ways to “Use” it) talked about the (mis)uses of a Rogue AP. This post looks at the other challenge – security issues with WiFi clients. WiFi clients come from different vendors and are available in several flavors. They are embedded in today’s notebooks which often carry sensitive enterprise and personal data. By their very nature, such clients are highly dynamic. I am sure that network administrators managing even moderate sized enterprises can relate to the following two issues.

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  • CWNP

The Beginning of Knowledge is the Discovery of Something We Do Not Understand

Back when good ‘ole Netstumbler was introduced, WLAN discovery was a novelty.  Good protocol analysis tools were few and far between, and a little bit of information about the frames traversing the air was like informational gold, especially for the occasional hackers.  Nowadays, serious Wi-Fi troubleshooting is done with high performance—and usually high cost—sniffers  with wicked decoders, filters, aggregators, and simulators that make casual WLAN discovery tools like Netstumbler look like an alley cat next to a lion. 

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