The Insecurities Surrounding Wireless Networks With A Brief Background On How Wireless Networks Work.

2362 words - 9 pages

Wireless Internet InsecuritiesIntroduction:Today's society is highly dependent upon computers and the Internet. People rely on the speed, ease of use and plethora of information that the Internet provides. With each changing year come new ideas that lead to ever-changing technologies. Wireless networks are the wave of the Internet future. Wireless networks utilize the information capacity of the Internet along with other capabilities such as sharing wireless resources like printers. Wireless networks utilize the air all around us to send information to and from users without having to connect cables. This feature has sparked an uprising in popularity of wireless networks. With the influx of wireless networks and the human addiction to the gain knowledge, comes the compromising issue of security. Most people using wireless networks never even think about security issues. They just go about their daily routines paying no attention to the fact that a hacker could be accessing their whole network. This paper will talk about the insecurities surrounding wireless networks with a brief background on how wireless networks work.Wireless NetworksWireless Local Area Network technologies allow us to finally connect multiple users to share Internet connections without messy and expensive cable installation procedures. WLAN networks make available always-on-network connectivity without the restriction of sitting at your desk. This allows users to move freely while continuously having connection to the same resources. It is for this reason that wireless networks are the fastest growing form of networking in the U.S.WLANs use radio waves instead of cable (twisted pair, coax, fiber optic) to transmit information. Devices are used to superimpose data over these radio waves. There are two basic spread spectrum modulation techniques used by WLANs, DSSS and FHSS. DSSS or Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum takes the data to be sent and breaks it into chunks. It then sends these chunks of data over different frequencies at the same time. FHSS or Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum changes the frequency at which the data is being sent at regular intervals. It does this faster than any intruder could retune a jamming device design to block particular frequencies. DSSS is faster because the sender and receiver don't have to waste time retuning frequencies. DSSS used in 802.11, the IEEE standard for wireless communication, has 11 separate channels and can support data rates of 1, 2, 5.5, and 11 Mbps. FHSS used in 802.11 has 79 channels and 22 hop patterns and has a data rate of about 1 or 2 Mbps. DSSS and FHSS are both used at a frequency of 2.4GHz.WLANs exist in either ad hoc or infrastructure. An ad hoc network has multiple users talking to each other as peers sharing data without the aid of a central access point. Infrastructure WLANs contain Access Points or APs, which act as a wireless hub connecting wireless users to a wired network. These different forms of wireless...

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