SECURITY IN WIRELESS WAN. MADHURI RAMBHATLA. OBJECTIVE. Thoroughly study the various aspects of Wireless Technology and analyse the vulnerabilities in Wireless WAN and its affects on the society.
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“It’s always best to build security in from the beginning rather than to add it later”
Wireless technology has been around since the turn of the last century, but only as we take a step into the 21st century are we beginning to see such technology take hold in so many aspects of our lives. Students entering higher education in the next few years may take for granted the idea of a wireless campus—a place they may never have to worry about finding a phone jack or a data line to connect to the school's network. They will have the ability to use their laptops and handheld devices—to e-mail a paper, do library research, participate in a class online discussion—anywhere on campus, without having to worry about physically plugging in their hardware.
(a)It is common to statically assign a WEP key to a client, either on the client's disk storage or in the memory of the client's wireless LAN adapter. When this is done, the possessor of a client has possession of the client's MAC address and WEP key and can use those components to gain access to the wireless LAN. If multiple users share a client, then those users effectively share the MAC address and WEP key.
- Base wireless WAN authentication on device-independent items such as usernames and passwords, which users possess and use regardless of the clients on which they operate.
- Use WEP keys that are generated dynamically upon user authentication, not static keys that are physically associated with a client.
- The 802.11b shared-key authentication scheme employs one-way, not mutual, authentication. An access point authenticates a user, but a user does not and cannot authenticate an access point. If a rogue access point is placed on a wireless WAN, it can be a launch pad for denial-of-service attacks through the "hijacking" of the clients of legitimate users.
- What is needed is mutual authentication between the client and an authentication server whereby, both sides prove their legitimacy within a reasonable time. Because a client and an authentication server communicate through an access point, the access point must support the mutual authentication scheme. Mutual authentication makes it possible to detect and isolate rogue access points.
Standard WEP supports per-packet encryption but not per-packet authentication. A hacker can reconstruct a data stream from responses to a known data packet. The hacker then can spoof packets. One way to mitigate this security weakness is to ensure that WEP keys are changed frequently.
By monitoring the 802.11 control and data channels, a hacker can obtain information such as:
-Client and access point MAC addresses
-MAC addresses of internal hosts
-Time of association/disassociation
The hacker can use such information to do long-term traffic profiling and analysis that may provide user or device details. To mitigate such hacker activities, a site should use per-session WEP keys.
-Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), an extension to Remote Access Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) that can enable wireless client adapters to communicate with RADIUS servers.
-IEEE 802.1X, a proposed standard for controlled port access.
- A wireless client associates with an access point.
- The access point blocks all attempts by the client
to gain access to network resources until the
client logs on to the network.
- The user on the client supplies a username and
password in a network logon dialog box or its
- Using 802.1X and EAP, the wireless client and a
RADIUS server on the wired LAN perform a
mutual authentication through the access point.
-When mutual authentication is successfully completed, the RADIUS server and the client determine a WEP key that is distinct to the client and provides the client with the appropriate level of network access, thereby approximating the level of security inherent in a wired switched segment to the individual desktop. The client loads this key and prepares to use if for the logon session.
- The RADIUS server sends the WEP key, called a session key, over the wired LAN to the access point.
- The access point encrypts its broadcast key with the session key and sends the encrypted key to the client, which uses the session key to decrypt it.
- The client and access point activate WEP and use the session and broadcast WEP keys for all communications during the remainder of the session.
WIRED vs WIRELESS
Is wired network obsolete?? Of course Not!!
The whole network infrastructure contains a place for wired and wireless connections. Every wireless access point using the 802.11 standards needs a wired connection. Wiring for wireless access points requires a different topology than for traditional wired jacks, so a network mixing both wireless and wired connections may need as much or more wire than before—even with fewer jacks. If the 3G or 4G digital standards (see below for the explanations of standards and terminology) come into place, which at the moment looks less than certain, and no wired access points are needed on campus.
Bluetooth Technology is aiming at exactly that… a complete wireless, technology.