A techie friend of mine, whom I will refer to as Jeremiah, contacted me and suggested I write a post about the security vulnerabilities in wireless networks and how easy it is to penetrate those networks with software that is readily available on the internet.
To establish a wireless network, you need a wireless router which is available in any popular computer store. Wireless routers are actually wired routers with wireless access points built in so you can have wired and/or wireless at the same time. The most common scenario or reason for the purchase of a wireless router is that a notebook computer has been purchased with wireless capability and the user desires to use the notebook to wirelessly connect to the internet in the home. I know for fact that many of my acquaintances, who have set up a wireless router/network, followed the “basic” installation instructions to setup the router; and, with minimal hassle had the router up and running in no time. However, one of two things usually occurs. They either setup the router with no security at all OR they implement some security measures thinking their network is secure.
Many of today’s wireless routers have the capability to reach great distances outside the walls of the home, which allows outside intruders to easily connect to your network/router. To avoid a lengthy post, I opted to post information that Jeremiah provided, which provides information & tools used to infiltrate a wireless network AND then I have followed up with information on steps you should take to properly secure your wireless network. The main point in all of this is that you “need to know” how readily available this information is on the internet to exploit a network AND that there are really simple measures you can follow to prevent an intrusion.
How your wireless network can be infiltrated:
- How To Crack WEP – Part 1: Setup & Network Recon : Introduction (Tom’s Guide)
- How To Crack WEP – Part 2: Performing the Crack : Introduction (Tom’s Guide)
- Auditor Security Collection CD reviewed : Introduction (Tom’s Guide)
- Back Track (Remote-Exploit)
- Wardriving Tools, Software & Utilities (Wardrive.net)
What you can do to protect your network:
- Securing Your Wireless Network (Practically Networked)
- 10 Tips for Wireless Home Network Security (About.com)
- A guide to Wireless Security (TechNet)
- Beginner’s Guide: Securing a Wireless Network (PCStats)
- Wireless Security (Wikipedia)