The open nature of wireless networks makes them perfect targets for attacks that prey upon radio wave propagation. Attackers can simply use strong antennas and pull signals out of the air for analysis. Learn about propagation attacks, such as jamming, interference, and war driving.
- [Instructor] The open nature of wireless networks, makes them perfect targets for attacks that prey upon radio wave propagation. Attackers can simply use strong antennas, and pull signals out of the air for analysis. Let's talk about a few wireless attacks based on radio wave propagation. Jamming and interference attacks, seek to deny users legitimate access to a wireless network. Attackers don't try to gain access to the network itself, or eavesdrop upon communications, they simply want to stop other people from using the network.
In a jamming attack, the attacker brings a powerful transmitter into the vicinity of the wireless network, and broadcasts a very strong signal, that overpowers the legitimate wireless access points. It's the equivalent of placing someone in a crowded stadium, and asking them to have a conversation with someone located a few feet away. The noise overwhelms the conversation. In war driving attacks, hackers go mobile. They walk or drive around a neighborhood, using a powerful wireless antennae, and grab whatever information they can capture about wireless access points in the area.
They might notice open wireless networks, or those using weak WEP encryption. War drivers use special software that automatically captures this information, and even correlates it with GPS data to plot it on a map. After driving around gathering information, attackers can return to areas where they want to exploit vulnerable networks. Let's take a look at a few war driving tools. First, let's look at a tool called iStumbler. It's a Mac tool that shows you very detailed information about nearby wireless networks.
Right now I'm located at Lynda.com headquarters, and as you can see, there are a number of Lynda related networks in the vicinity. It looks like my computer sees a network called LYNDA, which is probably an employee network. Lynda-AUTHOR, for course authors, and LYNDA-GUEST, for guests to the area. Then there's one other network here that appears to be unrelated. Notice that each network appears multiple times in the list. That's because my computer can see multiple access points simultaneously.
I'm seeing one, the one with the green full signal, very strong, and then I'm probably picking up other access points from adjacent buildings down here. I can also see the type of encryption being used on each wireless network. It looks like Lynda has a good IT staff, because all of their networks use strong WPA2 encryption. iStumbler is just one tool to discover this information, but there are many more. You also don't have to do your own war driving. Others gather the same information for you.
Let's look at a popular website called WiGLE.net. This website, after asking for permission to use my location, shows all of the wireless networks that others have discovered in this area. If I zoom in on my particular location, on the Lynda.com campus, which is located around here, you'll notice there aren't any dots. That means that nobody's uploaded war driving information from actually driving on the streets located around this campus. However, if you scroll down just a little bit, you'll see that many people have uploaded wireless access point information, captured while they were driving on the nearby 101.
And if we zoom in on this information, you'll see some of the LYNDA networks. There's LYNDA, LYNDA-GUEST, the Lynda network up here again, appearing at different points, showing that you can actually see those networks from the nearby expressway. Common tools make it quite easy to gather information about wireless networks. The availability of these technologies, underscores the importance of using strong encryption to protect the security of wireless networks.
Learn about communication and networking best practices, including TCP/IP networking, network security devices, and secure network design and management. Instructor and cybersecurity expert Mike Chapple also includes coverage of converged protocols, network encryption, and wireless networking. You can find Mike's companion study books for this series at the Sybex test prep site and review the complete CISSP Body of Knowledge at https://www.isc2.org/cissp-domains/default.aspx.
- IP addressing
- Switches and routers
- Content distribution networks
- Designing secure networks
- Specialized networking
- Managing secure networks
- Working with virtualized networks like SDNs
- Detecting and preventing network attaches
- Transport encryption
- Wireless networking
- Host security