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Wireless Network Security Testing

How would you feel if every time you checked your e-mail, someone was reading it?  What if you are a business. . .   how would your customers feel if all of their information in your system was visible to everyone?  If you have a wireless network, you need to take every precaution to make sure that it's secure.

Let me start off by saying that nothing is 100% secure.  As soon as it is, someone will find a way in.  Also, WEP encryption, the standard encryption method used by nearly all 802.11 equipment, has a few holes in it that allow it to be cracked, given enough time.  By knowing this, it may be a more feasible option to not use a wireless network at all.  The decision you have to make is the balance between conveinence, and security. 

Let's assume you absolutely need a wireless network.  What can you do?

  1. Enable WEP encryption
  2. Change your WEP keys often
  3. Encrypt data at the application level as well

Option 1 is easy.  Refer to the manual on your access point, and all of your wireless nics.  Changing the WEP keys is easy to, you'll see places to enter the WEP keys when you first set up encryption.  Encrypting data at the application level is not always possible, depending on the applications you use.  If you use a terminal to log in to stuff, pipe it over SSH.  As for anything else though, there isn't much you can do.

What can you do if you don't want to hassle with all of this?  Call me!  I can scan your wireless network to make sure it's not wide open, and I can also fix any security holes I find.  For info about this, e-mail  If you are outside of IL, USA, I probably won't be availabe to come to you to fix your stuff, but you can e-mail me and ask for advice.

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Musatcha is pronounced moo-SA-cha.  I have no idea where it originated.
Copyright 1998-2005, Brad Isbell []