Wireless Network

Written by Stella Krueger in Misc on

A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes. Wireless networking is a method by which homes, telecommunications 192.168.1 networks and business installations avoid the costly process of introducing cables into a building, or as a connection between various equipment locations. Admin telecommunications networks are generally implemented and administered using radio communication. This implementation takes place at the physical level (layer) of the OSI model network structure.

There is no ready designed system to prevent from fraudulent usage of wireless communication or to protect data and functions with wirelessly communicating computers and other entities. However, there is a system of qualifying the taken measures as a whole according to a common understanding what shall be seen as state of the art. The system of qualifying is an international consensus as specified in ISO/IEC 15408.

SSID hiding

A simple but ineffective method to attempt to secure a wireless network is to hide the SSID (Service Set Identifier). This provides very little protection against anything but the most casual intrusion efforts.

MAC ID filtering

One of the simplest techniques is to only allow access from known, pre-approved MAC addresses. Most wireless access points contain some type of MAC ID filtering. However, an attacker can simply sniff the MAC address of an authorized client and spoof this address.

Static IP addressing

Typical wireless access points provide 192.168.l.10 IP addresses to clients via DHCP. Requiring clients to set their own addresses makes it more difficult for a casual or unsophisticated intruder to log onto the network, but provides little protection against a sophisticated attacker.

Examples of wireless networks include cell phone networks, wireless local area networks (WLANs), wireless sensor networks, satellite communication networks, and terrestrial microwave networks.

There are three principal ways to secure a wireless network.

For closed networks (like home users and organizations) the most common way is to configure access restrictions in the access points. Those restrictions may include encryption and checks on MAC address. Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems can be used to provide wireless LAN security in this network model.

For commercial providers, hotspots, and large organizations, the preferred solution is often to have an open and unencrypted, but completely isolated wireless network. The users will at first have no access to the Internet nor to any local network resources. Commercial providers usually forward all web traffic to a captive portal which provides for payment and/or authorization. Another solution is to require the users to connect securely to a privileged network using VPN.

Wireless networks are less secure than wired ones; in many offices intruders can easily visit and hook up their own computer to the wired network without problems, gaining access to the network, and it is also often possible for remote intruders to gain access to the network through backdoors like Back Orifice. One general solution may be end-to-end encryption, with independent authentication on all resources that shouldn't be available to the public.