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Cisco Network Security Fundamentals: Wireless Security

Chapter Description

This chapter covers wireless security—what it is, how it works, how it is configured, what threatens it, and what policies can be designed to secure it.

War-Driving and War-Chalking

War-driving can be best described as a new form of hacking into the network. Crackers are equipped with an antenna either inside their cars or on the roof of their cars. The antenna is connected to a laptop in the car. Once installed in the car, the crackers start driving (or sometimes just park in garages) and log data as they go. Special software logs the latitude and longitude of the car's position as well as the signal strength and network name.

It is important to be aware that companies are opening back doors in their systems to a new type of network intrusion. It is vital for companies to use security network auditing on the wireless section of their networks. No matter how many firewalls are installed in the network, inappropriate wireless configurations can give the cracker access to the corporate network without having to pass through a single firewall.

The term "war-chalking" was inspired by the use of chalk marks in old wartime days. During the 1930s and 1940s, homeless, wandering men used chalk marks to advise their colleagues of places that offered free food or places to wash up. Today, war-chalking is actually creating a language for indicating free Internet access. It can be best described as marking a series of well-defined symbols on sidewalks, walls, pillars, and others structures to indicate nearby wireless access. Each symbol defines a specific wireless setting. This practice enables users to go to those marked locations and use the symbols to figure out what the settings are to connect through a wireless connection to the Internet.

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