No WLAN On Your Nets? Wi-Fi Security’s Still a Concern

Main     Elsewhere     The Week in CrossNodes    

Color us jaded, but we thought tales of prowling wardrivers, like
this one from the AP
, were a fading memory. Evidently not. On the
bright side for enterprise-based wireless networkers, the reporter
seemed to think that the bulk of the unsecured networks he and his
wardriver companion were spotting were largely residential, in keeping
with the explosive growth of Wi-Fi among personal and SoHo computer
users. So maybe, the cold-hearted realist wants to believe, all these
unsecured wireless ‘nets will cause the average wardriver to pass the
juicier but more secure corporate nets by in the quest for free
bandwidth and a stepping-off point for disagreeable behavior.

But as much as we’d like to shrug off stories like this as old news
(and they are to networking professionals who’ve been making sure
there’s wireless pipe in range of the executive meeting rooms for a
few years now), it’s very simple to hang plug-n-play wireless devices
off “the last foot,” creating a situation where a well-meaning user
who isn’t responsible for your network’s security is
maintaining a surreptitious but dangerous and unsecured segment.

So even if you don’t even maintain a wireless network, wireless
networking technology and its relative security should be a concern.
If you maintain unencrypted services over your wired LAN, thinking the
physical security of your network is the final word in terms of its
virtual security could be a bad mistake.

Elsewhere:

» AT&T has announced
DDoS Defense
, which the company claims can detect and divert
suspect traffic while allowing authorized traffic to continue
unimpeded. The new product is part of the larger AT&T Internet
Protect, which the company claims saw Sasser before it reached
critical mass, allowing AT&T to warn customers weeks in advance.

» F5 Networks has aquired
MagniFire WebSystems for $29 million. The company plans to put
its new acquisition’s TrafficShield security appliances to work for
protection against attacks occurring at the application level, such as
worms and viruses.

» Amedia Networks announced
the introduction of its QoStream Fiber-to-the-Premises access product.
The product is based on tech licensed from Lucent and is aimed
at allowing “service providers, cable operators, municipalities, and
real estate developers to deliver cost effective high-speed Internet
access, high definition and standard definition digital video, and
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to business and
residential customers.” Product availability is slated for Q3 of this
year.

» Intel has released the first
802.11g Centrino drivers for
Linux
. Your Linux-using laptop clients probably won’t see much
benefit from the new drivers for a while, though. The company
cautions that they’re of pre-beta quality at this point.

» Trend Micro and Sofos
both issued their monthly “it’s as bad as you think and they are out
to get you” reports to kick off June. Both firms vary in the total
number of new worms, trojans, viruses, and assorted other malware
floating around out there, but they agree that Sasser was a pain in
May. In the “Grimly Amusing” department is a quote from an analyst in
one
report
who says that while there might be less unique examples of
malware out there, that’s largely a result of code reuse on the part
of malware authors.

The Week in CrossNodes

» Three
LDAP Browsers for the Asking

Getting your information in a directory is just half the
battle: The other half is finding it. Here are three LDAP browsers,
free of charge and up to the task of digging through your data.

» FaceTime
Makes IM as Safe as Talking Face-to-Face

With IM use at critical mass and growing, security and privacy
challenges abound. FaceTime’s enterprise-grade server suite monitors,
archives, and analyzes IM traffic for thousands of users without
requiring thousands of admin hours.

» Scripting Clinic: Dissecting a Live Python… Script

By examining a working script line by line, this edition of the
Scripting Clinic shows you how to put your own scripts together and
exposes a few Python quirks along the way.

» Pack-Rats
by Law: A Message Archiving Primer

With the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, messaging archives have gone from a
voluntary tic among pack-rat users to a regulatory necessity. Here’s
how to crate up the correspondence without overloading your LAN.

Network News Break is
CrossNodes’ daily summary of networking news and opinion, served up fresh daily.
Please send your comments and suggestions to the editor.

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