Common Wireless Attacks, War Driving, War Chalking, Rogue Access Points, Jamming Attacks (Denial of Service)

Wireless networks face many network attacks. Some wireless network attacks are listed below.

War Driving

War Driving is defined as the act of searching for Wi-Fi wireless networks by a person in a moving vehicle, using a portable computer or PDA. The term War Driving is derived from the 1980s phone hacking method known as war dialing. War dialing involves dialing all the phone numbers in a given sequence to search for modems. The War Driving gained popularity in 2001, because that time wireless network scanning tools became widely available.

Some people do War Driving as a hobby and map out different wireless networks. But hackers will look for wireless networks and then break into the networks to steal data or to perform malicious activities.

The initial war driving tools included simple software coupled with the WNIC (Wide-area Network Interface Coprocessor). Many organizations are not worried about their wireless networks because they could spot the war drive attacker inside their parking space and have onsite security pick and throw them out. But recent wireless technology developments enable a network to extend far beyond the parking space of an office building. In some cases, a wireless network has the ability to span several miles. Now an attacker can stay far away from the building and still catch a strong signal from the network. A good war driving software package is NetStumbler.

War Chalking is a method to display information on wireless networks by using chalks on the sorrounding walls. War drivers search for networks and then the war driver will mark a network with chalk that gives information about the network to other war drivers.

Rogue Access Points

A Rogue Access Point is an Access Point that has either been installed on a secure company network without explicit planning, permission or authorization from network administrator or has been installed by a hacker to conduct a man-in-the-middle attack. If the hacker is able to find the SSID (Service Set Identifier) in use by the network and the rogue AP has enough strength, it is easy for them to perform a man-in-the-middle attack and the wireless users will have no way of knowing that they are connecting to a Rogue Access Point.

The rogue access points are normally installed by employees who need additional freedom to move about at work. These types of rogue access points can be very dangerous since most users are not aware of all the security issues associated with wireless devices.

Jamming Attacks (Denial of Service)

Jamming is a type of Denial of Service (DoS) attack targeted to wireless networks. Jamming happens when RF frequencies interfere with the operation of the wireless network. Normally jamming is not malicious and is caused by the presence of other wireless devices that operate in the same frequency as the wireless network. Hackers can perform Denial of Service (DoS) jamming attacks by analyzing the spectrum used by wireless networks and then transmitting a powerful signal to interfere with communication on the discovered frequencies.

Related Tutorials