In all of networking history, it has never been easier to penetrate a network. IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN technology gives the hacker and network security professional inexpensive — many times free — tools to work with. Whether you are an avid user of Linux or Windows, the tools are everywhere. Due to the enduring and ubiquitous ware community, hackers can obtain even the expensive analysis and penetration tools — such as 802.11-protocol analyzers — with no investment.
This book will show you quite a few of the latest tools, but an exhaustive text covering all currently-available wireless hacking tools would require a forklift to move, and would require you to remove all other books from your bookshelves to make room. With this many available tools, the important factor becomes learning how to use them effectively and efficiently.
Beginners have wasted many weekends’ war driving neighborhoods or business districts. This type of probing for low-hanging fruit yields little, and is a waste of valuable learning time. It is much more to an individual’s benefit to learn an assortment of wireless-LAN penetration tools and work toward the goal of obtaining useful information.
Learning the tools and techniques takes time and hard work in a closed environment, but yields much in the information-technology arena. The current demand for wireless-security professionals is staggering. Those individuals who have taken the time to hone their skills in the use of available tools and the latest penetration techniques will be financially rewarded with a great career. I urge you to consider practicing and studying rather than driving around from neighborhood to neighborhood hoping to send an e-mail through someone’s cable modem.
One of the biggest problems with wireless networks today is the lack of intrusion detection. Banks, investment firms, hospitals, law offices, and other organizations that house sensitive information may have a corporate policy stating that wireless LANs are not allowed. They may think that this “no-use” policy keeps their networks safe and secure, but they are gravely mistaken.
A rogue access point could be placed on their network by intruders or by employees, and without a wireless-intrusion detection system, there would be no way to know that all of their security mechanisms have been bypassed — giving full access to anyone within 300 feet of the facility. Wireless-security professionals should be able to use available tools to locate wireless LANs, disable unauthorized access points, and test for a full array of wireless vulnerabilities
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