A Study of Wireless Networks and Security

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
January 9, 2005
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55465
A Study of Wireless Networks and Security
We've compiled information on the use of wireless networks in Hoboken. See how many insecure wireless networks there are in a 2 block area! Using standard wireless tools, we performed warchalking. The term warchalking means that we will find where wireless networks are in a given area, chalking them on a map.
Tags Wireless

Page 1: Wireless Technology, Results

Original Report 11/04/04. &copy Joseph Kukis & Aron Schatz.

Abstract:

The purpose of this report is to compile information on the use of wireless networks in Hoboken. It will attempt to discover where there are insecure wireless networks and to pinpoint them onto a map using standard GPS technology.

Using standard wireless tools, we will attempt to perform warchalking. The term warchalking means that we will find where wireless networks are in a given area, chalking them on a map. On the software side, Netstumbler .4 will be used from http://www.netstumbler.com and Stumbverter will be used from http://www.sonar-security.com/sv.html to convert the stumbler data to a usable format for use in Mappoint 2004, the mapping software we used to display the AP (access point) data.

On the hardware side, we used the standard Stevens issued Compaq Armada E500. It was paired with a Compaq WL110 wireless card that is a rebranded Orinoco card, which is a supported card for the Netstumbler program. For the GPS, we used a Tripmate GPS that is made from Delorme and attaches to the serial port of the laptop.

Introduction:

Wireless networking has been one of the biggest technological pushes for the industry. The news and other media are riddled with stories on wireless technology. While the technology enables people to roam free around an area, it isn’t without its fair share of problems. For instance, how can you be sure that a wireless network is safe and secure from intrusion? From a hardware point of view, it is relatively easy to secure a normal wired LAN. You know where the connections are and who is using them. Wireless is inherently different. You can’t be sure that a wireless network won’t extend beyond your sphere of influence. This is why there are some safeguards that allow wireless networks to work in today’s world.

Encryption is the best way to secure a wireless network. The problem is that many consumers and even companies forget to secure their own network. This is a major problem if they want a secure network with some safeguards from intrusion. There are networks that welcome the free access, and that is fine with respect to what they accomplish. It is the ones that people setup and have no idea how to setup. This report will go into detail on a cross section of wireless networks in Hoboken, where they are used, and how secure they actually are.

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