[ISN] Security exhibitors set up insecure WLANs

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Apr 25 2002 - 01:08:55 PDT

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    By John Leyden
    Posted: 24/04/2002 at 11:25 GMT
    Wireless networking insecurity was a key theme of this week's
    InfoSecurity show with a number of suppliers coming out with surveys
    on just how vulnerable world+dog is to drive by hackers.
    However a quick scout around the show yesterday revealed the problem
    is closer to home than most vendors would like to admit - half of the
    show's wireless LANs were wide open to attack.
    Using a Compaq iPAQ equipped with a 802.11b card, Rob Baskerville, a
    consultant at security services firm Vistorm, discovered that eight of
    the 15 networks he found were running WLANs without WEP (Wired
    Equivalent Privacy), often taken as a sign that networks are
    Baskerville, who found his results "surprising", didn't perform any
    invasive attacks (illegal without permission), so it's unclear how
    much mischief could be wrought through the oversight.
    The use of WEP, which is itself vulnerable to attacks using cracker
    tools such as AirSnort, is often taken as a benchmark for surveys on
    wireless networks security.
    But Baskerville says the issue is more complex: some companies -
    knowing WEP provides only minimal protection - simply don't use it,
    opting for security mechanisms, such as VPNs, to secure their
    But what about the wireless LANs in Olympia? Vistorm consultants
    reckon the networks were put up in a hurry and without much thought
    for security.
    Oh dear.
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