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Thread: Wireless security research paper (english class)

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    Default Wireless security research paper (english class)

    Hello, for my English 102 class I am writing a paper about wireless vulnerabilities and ways you can protect yourself in hotspots and with your home wifi. I'm mainly just looking for suggestions of places to get information, and may if any of you would be willing, allow me to ask a few questions and use you as an interview for my paper.

    Here is my general outline so far.

    I. Intro and thesis: Many computer users are unaware of the dangers that are associated with using wireless hotspots and home networks.
    II. Wireless is becoming the standard medium for networking among many consumers
    A. History of wireless networks
    B. How wireless has changed our daily lives
    C. Future of wireless
    III. Pros for wireless
    A. Easier to use
    B. Easy to implement
    C. Low cost
    IV. Cons for wireless
    A. Security issues
    B. Overlapping networks
    C. Reliability
    V. Security Concerns
    A. Hotspot/home network packet sniffing
    B. Weak encryptions
    C. Nothing you do on wireless is private
    D. Identity theft
    VI. How to protect yourself
    A. Using stronger encryptions
    B. Be careful what you do on wireless networks
    C. What you can do to help insure you don't become a victim
    VII. Conclusion

    The books I have to use so far are:
    Wi-foo
    Penetration Testers Open Source Toolkit (second edition)
    The book I used in my Security+ Class
    Wardriving and Wireless Penetration Testing
    Wireless Communications: The Future
    Hack Proofing Your Wireless Network
    Wardriving: Drive, Detect, Defend
    Wireless Networking: Know it all

    I own the top 4 books, the others are from the library. If there are any other books, or even some websites (I'm going to ask if I can use posts from here) that could be useful, I'd really like some links.

    Thanks!

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    Moderator theprez98's Avatar
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    How many additional sources do you need? The books you list above are all good sources for what you're doing.
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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivanho View Post
    Hello, for my English 102 class I am writing a paper about wireless vulnerabilities and ways you can protect yourself in hotspots and with your home wifi. I'm mainly just looking for suggestions of places to get information, and may if any of you would be willing, allow me to ask a few questions and use you as an interview for my paper.

    Here is my general outline so far.

    I. Intro and thesis: Many computer users are unaware of the dangers that are associated with using wireless hotspots and home networks.
    II. Wireless is becoming the standard for networking
    A. History of wireless networks
    B. How wireless has changed our daily lives
    C. Future of wireless
    III. Pros for wireless
    A. Easier to use
    B. Easy to implement
    C. Low cost
    IV. Cons for wireless
    A. Security issues
    B. Overlapping networks
    C. Reliability
    V. Security Concerns
    A. Hotspot/home network packet sniffing
    B. Weak encryptions
    C. Nothing you do on wireless is private
    D. Identity theft
    VI. How to protect yourself
    A. Using stronger encryptions
    B. Be careful what you do on wireless networks
    C. What you can do to help insure you don't become a victim
    VII. Conclusion

    The books I have to use so far are:
    Wi-foo
    Penetration Testers Open Source Toolkit (second edition)
    The book I used in my Security+ Class
    Wardriving and Wireless Penetration Testing
    Wireless Communications: The Future
    Hack Proofing Your Wireless Network
    Wardriving: Drive, Detect, Defend
    Wireless Networking: Know it all

    I own the top 4 books, the others are from the library. If there are any other books, or even some websites (I'm going to ask if I can use posts from here) that could be useful, I'd really like some links.

    Thanks!
    I would suggest that your premise "II. Wireless is becoming the standard for networking" is incorrect, and a better phrasing would be "wireless is becoming the networking medium of choice among many consumers". More wire and fiber is being strung than ever before, and will be for the foreseeable future. Anyone in the field knows that wired is preferred when and if it is available, since security, speed, and reliability all make wired the better choice. Wireless is only desirable where mobility and convenience outranks the other factors.

    The problem is that (like in many things) consumers' preference for convenience is driving the wireless market, and they are completely ignorant about their own vulnerability. Society has a name for people who are unaware of their on vulnerabilities. We call them "victims."

    By the way, I'm a co-author on two of the books cited. WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend and WarDriving and Wireless Penetration Testing, so I know a bit about the subject. Or at least people seem to think so.
    Thorn
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    I need a *minimum* of 12 sources, but my teacher wants us to have more. From what I've read so far a lot of them have the same info, but there are some differences.

    Thanks for the catch about wireless being standard for networking. Saying that wireless is becoming more of the standard for consumers is way better. Although, one of my teachers has told me that a lot of companies are using wireless for their LANs because it's too much of a hassle to run cables.

    It's a pleasure to get input from you, Thorn. I hope in the future I will be able to ask you some questions regarding my paper.

    One of the hardest things for me about writing this paper is that I know enough (at least I think I do) to write the whole paper from things I know from reading or experienced on my own. I've been very interested in wireless security for quite a long time.

    Thanks again for the input, more is always welcome!

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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivanho View Post
    I need a *minimum* of 12 sources, but my teacher wants us to have more. From what I've read so far a lot of them have the same info, but there are some differences.

    Thanks for the catch about wireless being standard for networking. Saying that wireless is becoming more of the standard for consumers is way better. Although, one of my teachers has told me that a lot of companies are using wireless for their LANs because it's too much of a hassle to run cables.

    It's a pleasure to get input from you, Thorn. I hope in the future I will be able to ask you some questions regarding my paper.

    One of the hardest things for me about writing this paper is that I know enough (at least I think I do) to write the whole paper from things I know from reading or experienced on my own. I've been very interested in wireless security for quite a long time.

    Thanks again for the input, more is always welcome!
    Your teacher needs to get out more. No company that has even a shred of intelligence would rely upon their business being mostly wireless.

    A good cabling company can have an entire building wired and certified normally in a few days. Most new business constructions are coming pre-wired for networking. So it isn't really that much of a hassle.

    Many new homes are coming prewired for networking as well, and then there are those of us that retro-wire old homes for networking. It isn't that hard to run CAT5 through any building, it just takes a some intelligence and some forethought as to how to do the job the right way.

    Hospitals are one of the biggest users of Wireless though, but even then, they have a wired backbone for all their AP's. Going wireless does not eliminate the need for wires.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    You're welcome. PM me if you need a specific question answered.

    As far as" a lot of companies are using wireless for their LANs because it's too much of a hassle to run cables", it's true to some extent, but usually, it is those companies where they care about cost over security. If those priorities are inverted (as most are) then they are running cable.
    Thorn
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    Thanks for clearing that up, I thought it was odd and straight out stupid that companies, especially hospitals and banks, who deal with such confidential information would use wireless.

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    I know of hospitals that install wireless for patient use. I guess it's someone's priority.

    I also know of a treatment center that had XP Pro desktops in each treatment room, unlocked and not password protected, which I am pretty sure is a HIPAA violation. But that's for another thread on another day.
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    Senior Member PrairieFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theprez98 View Post
    I know of hospitals that install wireless for patient use. I guess it's someone's priority.

    I also know of a treatment center that had XP Pro desktops in each treatment room, unlocked and not password protected, which I am pretty sure is a HIPAA violation. But that's for another thread on another day.
    I noticed tablet pc's with wireless being used a lot in hospitals here for storing and transferring patient information during examination etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrairieFire View Post
    I noticed tablet pc's with wireless being used a lot in hospitals here for storing and transferring patient information during examination etc.
    As long as they're using decent encryption, it shouldn't be a problem using wifi for the tablets. Now if the hospital's wifi network was named "linksys" there'd be a problem.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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