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January 2002

College combats WLAN security issues, including network sniffing

Establishing a secured wireless network is a big job at Texas A&M University, one of North America's largest campuses. In true Lone Star style, a team of network engineers is roping in rogue installations and corralling campus users within a public access wireless LAN (WLAN) on the school's 120 acres in College Station. "Wireless networking is a neat technology, and there are several areas -- like the dining halls, the library, the student center, large classrooms -- where it would be a good solution," explains Willis Marti, the university's associate director for networks. "Even though it was not -- and is not -- truly ready for prime time, people were deploying it. We stepped in to provide a workable solution now and get access coordinated." Providing wireless access is a strong recruitment tool at campuses competing for top-notch students, faculty and prestigious conferences. Students like being able to check e-mail or exchange files while snacking at the student center. Professors can use Web-based instructional exercises in...

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