New Help in the Hunt for Rogue Wireless Access Points

 
 
By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2003-06-02 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Managed security provider Guardent Inc. on Tuesday plans to announce a new service that will enable enterprises to discover and monitor rogue wireless access points on their networks.

WASHINGTON—Managed security provider Guardent Inc. on Tuesday plans to announce a new service that will enable enterprises to discover and monitor rogue wireless access points on their networks. The new offering will be delivered as part of Guardents Managed Vulnerability Protection Service and takes a new tack in the ongoing battle security specialists and network engineers are fighting to keep unauthorized APs off their networks. Instead of using a wireless device to locate the APs, Guardent is doing it from the wired side of the network by gathering HTTP and SNMP header information from the APs. Using this data, customers can see what wireless devices are on the network and can also determine whether the APs have WEP enabled, are broadcasting their SSIDs or have changed the default setup at all.
By the looks of things, the service is sorely needed. During a cursory 20-minute drive around Northwest Washington on Monday, Guardent security experts were able to find 54 wireless APs, only 17 of which had WEP enabled. Many of the devices were using the default SSIDs, as well.
The quick wardrive went down Massachusetts Avenue, past many of the embassies and around the Dupont Circle neighborhood, an area filled with restaurants, bars and apartment buildings. The APs found belonged to foreign governments, large media companies, Internet cafes and small businesses. Todd Waskelis, director of security services at Guardent, based in Waltham, Mass., spent most of the day cruising the city in a Hummer H2, seeking out open APs. "Its amazing how many of them are just straight default, out-of-the-box installs," he said. Guardents new service will be available in the third quarter.
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