Our small office WLAN uses WEP encryption and MAC address filtering. Are we protected from wireless hackers, or...
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
should we be doing something more?
First, upgrade your WLAN from WEP to either WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK. WEP has been broken for years, and new tools and techniques keep shortening the time required to crack WEP keys. This month, Darmstadt University researchers demonstrated a new tool, aircrack-ptw, which can guess your WEP keys in as little as one minute. While WPA/WPA2 PreShared Keys (PSKs) are not impossible to crack, choosing a good (random, complex) passphrase that's at least 20 characters long will defeat PSK crackers.
Second, don't rely too heavily on your MAC address filters. MAC addresses are easily spoofed, using readily available freeware like Technitium MAC Address Changer, SMAC, or EtherChange. Someone who wants to bypass your MAC address filters can just use a wireless sniffer like WaveShark to observe a valid MAC address, then change their own MAC address to match. MAC address filters are best viewed as a "keep out" -- a way of discouraging casual war drivers or accidental associations by nearby neighbors.
Third, make sure that your wireless AP and hosts aren't vulnerable to probes and attacks over the WLAN. People often focus on link encryption and access control, but forget about protecting those wireless endpoints. For example, make sure your AP can't be reconfigured by wireless clients. If you cannot disable that interface, at least choose a hard-to-guess admin login and password. Safeguard your wireless clients like you would any host connected directly to the Internet -- specifically, disable file sharing, run a personal firewall to block all incoming requests, connect only to known networks in infrastructure more, and update your wireless adapter to the latest firmware/driver.
To learn more about WLAN threats and countermeasures, check out our Wireless Lunchtime Learning series of webcasts and tips.
Dig Deeper on WLAN Security
Related Q&A from Lisa Phifer
Need to send an email, check your flight's status or get ready for a presentation? You can do it all on your smartwatch, thanks to a slew of Apple ...continue reading
New and improved management features have made Android devices more suitable for enterprise use, and API and EMM tools can streamline the device ...continue reading
Whether you need a basic open source mobile device management tool for your company's Apple or Android devices, or something more customized, you ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.