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April 2003

Keeping WLANs safe with WLAN security tools

Security managers have a variety of tools available for keeping WLANs safe. Here's a representative sampling:  Network discovery tools run on 802.11 stations and passively monitor beacon and probe response frames. Some actively probe for APs and stations configured for peer to peer. They typically display discovered devices by SSID, channel, MAC address and location (when used with a GPS), generating basic data that can be saved to a file. NetStumbler is a freeware AP discovery tool for Win32 systems. MacStumbler is freeware AP discovery software for Mac OS X and Apple Airport adapters. WaveStumbler is a freeware WLAN mapper for Linux. AirTouch Network's Security System War Driving Kit is a commercial war-driving kit, complete with sniffing software, 802.11b adapter and antenna.   Vulnerability assessment tools, in addition to network discovery, sniff traffic to spot security policy violations (e.g., APs with default SSID, stations or APs in open-system mode). They query APs to obtain system information and identify risks (e.g.,...

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