In addition to the various security vulnerabilities we mentioned above, one of the biggest obstacles to secure wireless networks is their complexity. It’s not enough to just install a firewall, set strong passwords, and have detailed access control settings. No, wireless networks are a completely different beast than their wired counterparts. These days, a plain old AP and wireless network interface card (NIC) might not seem too complex, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
The big issues revolve around the 802.11 protocol. This protocol doesn’t just send and receive information with minimal management overhead (as does, say, plain old Ethernet). Rather, 802.11 is highly complex — it not only has to send and receive radio frequency (RF) signals that carry packets of network data, it also has to perform a raft of other functions such as For a lot of great information on wireless-network fundamentals, check out the book that Peter co-authored —
Wireless Networks For Dummies. In addition to 802.11-protocol issues, there are also complexities associated with wireless-network design. Try these on for size: Before going down the ethical-hacking road, it’s critical that you plan everything in advance. This includes: For more on the ethical-hacking methodology, see Chapter 3.
All the up-front work and formal steps to follow may seem like a lot of hassle at first. However, we believe that if you’re going to go to all the effort to perform ethical hacking on your wireless network as a true IT professional, do it right the first time around.
It’s the only way to go. The law of sowing and reaping applies to the ethical-hacking planning phase. The more time and effort you put in up front, the more it pays off in the long run — you’ll be better prepared, have the means to perform a more thorough