Academic Master

Computer Sciences

Network Security Research Paper


The necessity for security on any network is very important: the avoidance of eavesdropping and the wish for verification has been the major focus of numerous network administrators. Although, the problems that were previously present are further added to when someone adds wireless networking to the equation. Since wireless networking turns out to be further more and more popular, the inconsistent security of the majority of those networks turns out to be more deceptive. Many organizations have formulated methods to protect their wireless networks from intruders. Though, there is presently no wireless security operation that everybody decides is always appropriate, irrespective of what network it is using or to be used on. Few executions are reasonable for some types of settings, and there is work ongoing to make future solutions. In the meantime, numerous wireless users are making the situation further difficult as they promote the present vulnerable networks. The unescapable accessibility and the extensive usage of the wireless networks with many types of techniques, topologies, and protocol suites have carried with them a necessity to recover the security mechanisms. The designing, expansion and appraisal of the security techniques must initiate with a detailed study of the necessities and a deeper thoughtfulness of the methods that are useful inside the system limitations.


Eavesdropping and Authentication

Any network’s security is an important issue. Nobody likes the idea that someone can intercept online traffic, read emails, order items by using others’ credit cards, or send unsuitable emails to their boss on their behalf. Wired network security is mostly the primary objective for system administrators.

When you look at the network with the “WAP” (wireless access point), new security issues arise. Since this is a wireless transmission in nature, since wireless networks are broadcast in nature, anybody who is in the scope of a wireless card could capture the data packets that are being sent without intruding on the sequence of data between the wireless card and the base station.

For this reason, the security of the wireless network is somehow further focused than the security of the wired networks. WAP network administrators have a tendency to emphasize the security of the base station and the wireless card. After packets are transmitted from the base station from the wired side, the administrators could depend on several conservative security features that are already in the cable networks in order to shield the info in question.

There are two key difficulties that wireless security solutions have to address. First, since all wireless packets are accessible to everyone nearby, security is required in order to prevent interception. Meanwhile, it is not possible to retain people further away from WAP or in the palace to build a boundary nearby the building, the solutions are usually based on encryption from one form to the other form. Depending on what is being implemented, It could have a statically shared key or the key that is produced from the static key, negotiated keys, or the dynamically-generated key.

The other problem is authentication. Using a wired network, the system administrator can determine who created the specific traffic which is based on the real traffic port. Assuming that traffic from a specific port always comes from a particular source, you do not need to constantly check the source of traffic. However, with many wireless networks, numerous users can access the network at the identical access point which makes it difficult to determine who they are. It is often recommended that users be allowed to choose who they are beforehand allowing them to go over the base station in the other part of the network. This stops the unlawful use while having the added bonus of being capable of tracking the specific activity of the user should the need to arise.

While bearing in mind the security solution for the wireless network, it is very vital to retain these problems in mind. Though, for numerous reasons, it is not possible each time to get a perfect solution for the network.

WEP and Small Network

The main indication of ​​the no-wires network is turning out to be further appealing to small office users and homes each day. The price of this connectivity, contrary to paying somebody to install the Category 5e cable in the house somewhere you think you may require to use the laptop, is reducing each day. “Through the vast volume of the cards that are being accessible by around 100 vendors, the cost has fallen to 100 dollars for the notebook cards, and as lesser as 150 dollars for the access points. 1 Bandwidth is further turns out to be lesser of the problem. 2.4GHz 802.11b wireless could offer 11Mbps of data, whereas 5GHz 802.11a wireless, for an additional value, could deliver to 54 Mbps, which is more than sufficient to take full benefit of the cable modem or the DSL connection.

To ensure security, these are ad-hoc networks that provide easy access to most external users. The key difficulty is the price of the security. A big corporation with a huge number of individuals using the network could have enough resources to procure suitable security equipment and in order to pay somebody to protect their network and retain that security. On the other hand, the user of a small home or office often relies on cheap security measures. For example, a wireless security gateway costing $ 6,000 and a RADIUS server may not be effective in terms of cost for the small office.

Most frequently, a small wireless user only uses the security features that are advertised on it the wireless products they buy. In the 802.11 specifications, the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) feature is obtainable on the majority of the base stations that are sold today. The encrypted key is linked with every network and anyone who needs to make usage of the network should have this key. Numerous people rely on the WEP in order to prevent packet blocking and to prevent unknown people from connecting to their network without knowing them.

Though, WEP is by any means safe. The professional wireless hacker has many attacks that can bypass WEP. In the majority of the cases, this includes listening to the wireless broadcast packets and also breaching the encryption key. The Statistical based attacks have become more and more practical with the use of more and more cipher texts that use the identical key stream are known.

One of the free programs that are available for this is the AirSnort. “AirSnort needs the collection of about 5-10 million encrypted packets. After collecting enough packets, AirSnort can guess password encryption in less than one second.” Once you achieve this, there is no problem in connecting the concerned network.

WEP is also behind in other areas. Using WEP can greatly affect your throughput, not the lack of such encryption. “In most cases, available wireless devices lost large bandwidth (up to 40 percent in some of the tests) to encrypt traffic on 4” devices. Furthermore, due to the fact that each network has only one encrypted key to protect the external network from the ear liner to the network, they Do not listen to each other.

Larger Wireless Settings

The fact is that the WEP protocol does not believe to be as secure as it claims to be, and at this time, is not suitable for the larger environment. Most of systems administrators prefer authentication schemes that help to identify users. It is often necessary to allow users to automatically protect each other using unique and detailed encryption keys. There are several security applications that try to solve the problems of WEP, although some network administrations prefer at least or no security.

Some companies are using static addresses for network security. Users receive a static IP address from the central authority. Meanwhile, it’s very easy to modify the IP address to use somebody else; this central authority can also write down the MAC address of the wireless card to users. The primary security mechanism or firewall checks whether the MAC address that is used is linked with a fixed IP address assigned to this address. If they find a match, the traffic becomes can pass on that network, else, the traffic is rejected by the network.

An identical concept is used to reserve DHCP. Again, the central authority is accountable for tracking MAC addresses. Whereas a person’s MAC address appears to the network, that person is given an IP address or rejected via DHCP. IP could be allocated only for use or could come from a set of addresses.

With the use of each of these methods, acceptable authentication methods are usually not considered. First of all, it’s hard for anybody to listen to the wireless traffic, take someone’s IP address, and acts to be that person. With some extra work, the MAC address of multiple wireless cards could be changed. The infringer can recognize the MAC address of the device, change the address, according to your address and receive the IP address when you want. In addition, none of these methods do anything to resolve the difficulty of stopping eavesdropping.

Another wireless authentication method that is developed by the Department of Information and Information at Rutgers University is known as the “wireless archipelago.” Archipelago Wireless provides authentication before connecting to any network. All the base stations send requests over a central firewall located amongst base stations and to the other parts of the network. Users could open the browser tab and clicks on the network login page. Trying to load any of the other pages are then redirected towards the login page, and all the other connections are rejected. When a site is secured with SSL, users receive the authentication option with the RADIUS server. If the authentication is effective, traffic can pass to the other part of the network. The firewall prompts the wireless card after some minutes in order to make sure that the connection is still connected.

Although the issue of liability has been well resolved by Archipelago Wireless, however, it is not addressing the matter of eavesdropping deterrence. Though, networks with this setting are intended for other security topographies, not replacements. We recommend that you use SSH for connection sessions and SSL to read e-mail messages, while VPN usage is possible to protect all traffic.

VPN servers could be designed in order to use the current methods to perform authentication. However, VPN depends on wireless security and has its particular harms. First, there must be a way to implement a suitable VPN client for the users. Whereas it may be likely to post the connection information all over the campus, It will be further difficult and expensive to get client tapes to VPN CDs. You can make this by the software for the client available on the website, but your users must be connected to the Internet in order to download it. Secondly, your VPN client might be incompatible or available to all the OS which is used by those people who want to access the network.

War dialers who want to know are somewhat called “war chalking”. Like the written language, falcons are often used to refer to places, whereas other people find hot food and a decent place for a stay in the grip of war chalkers. This info typically includes the network security status SSID, and signal strength. Wall chalkings who look at a WAP commercial mark are advised in a particular place, but also whether a certain network is safe. WAP sites are often not only WAP pages but also who know which brands are immediately notified of the access point without having to activate wireless devices.

War Driving and War Chalking

As wireless networks become more famous, more and more people are considering for places to access wireless Internet. As mentioned previously, wireless networks are broadband by their nature, meaning that anyone at the base station can receive wireless transmissions and whether or not the owner of this base station knows this. Once this is achieved, wireless owners begin a trend known as a “war driving “, a constant search for weak access points from where they can connect and access insecure networks.

Wardriving comprises of interacting with the corresponding antennas and programs and looking for weak access points. There is an amazingly large number of websites that will determine the schedule and explain how to do it. Free software, for example, NetStumbler, is made to capture wireless networks. When a wireless signal is selected, NetStumbler logs all of the available information that you may need to access later. Despite the fact that the wardriving can be used successfully, the wireless card is not familiar to others; the war driver can exercise a great deal of enthusiasm to learn how to buy and install larger and more complex antennas in order to receive more signals. War drivers also feature GPS equipment to determine their experience for later use.

When you find out the access point, then it is just a matter of time to connect to that network. The use of NetStumbler is combined with the other programs, for example, AirSnort, which is not hard for some war dialers to negotiate any of the wireless networks with the use of either no security or only the WEP security. As stated before, a huge amount of ad-hoc networks fall into this group. More than that, longer war-driving expeditions turn up a better proportion of unsafe networks as opposed to secured ones.

Future Solutions

With the increase in the number of networks, the requirement for security is increasing. As we have already mentioned, current security measures are ineffective, expensive, or not universal. Home users want to find what they find without additional purchases. Network administrators are also looking at costs, but their main concern is that most users can access the network while ensuring authenticity and protection from hackers.

The IEEE 802.11 task group has recently decided to abandon WEP and WEP2. WEP2, with slider windows and powerful encryption keys, “improves WEP but does not fully meet the need for simple and reliable encryption. They agree that the additional authenticity of the subordinate source, for example, a Kerberos server or RADIUS, is the way in which they need to go. Future WEP versions may include basic negotiations for each session. WEP can also become nothing short of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which depends on the certificate authority for the key exchange.

Many encryption solutions today require users to make a transition to security. As wireless users with 5GHz bandwidth increase their speed, shortcut keys with the longer shared hides can further become a solution. Although most of the features are dedicated to 802.11b VPN networks, the 802.11a 5GHz network provides you with plenty of bandwidth to allow VPN security solutions to appear without excessive transmission. Furthermore, with time, VPN customers will be available on multiple platforms, making it easier to access WLANs using VPN destination sites.

Many people agree that the best way is to secure the concept of base stations and the other parts of the network’s interfaces. Moreover, Gateway solutions can further be founded on the related Archipelago Wireless concepts that allow you to authenticate without the need to download and install the special interface. Wireless network clients could talk to the base stations. However, they could not access the security keys without a certain type of verification. Upcoming IPSec kinds might be more global, enabling secure IPSec security sessions amongst the wireless users and the gateway in order to protect the broadcast.


Presently, No faultless security solution has been discovered. The only setting that could be assuredly protected is the one where all of the systems or machines are mostly alike. For instance, a system administrator could have fewer problems executing an IPSec solution if most of the computers that are accessing the network were using the OS with the amenable IPSec client. A Virtual private network solution turns out to be acceptable if everybody on the network could be given a fully-compatible Virtual private network client that makes efforts on their organized OS (operating systems). The majority of the security solutions fell short when the resolution had to put up a large number of potential clients.

After that, there is the problem of the price. Numerous ad hoc wireless networks are set up despite having a cabled wired network in order to evade the price of wiring the corporations/building or the structures where the network would be used. The cost of acquiring further hardware and the softwares for security places numerous solutions impractical. The free solution, which often implements WEP, is insufficient and gives a deceitful intellect of security.

If the threats of somebody interpreting the traffic or the usage of the network without the approval of others will not be sufficient, a growing number of individuals out there have completed their objective to discover and exposes susceptible wireless networks. The sum of war dialer maps that are on the Internet is increasing day by day as the number of susceptible networks and the expense of wireless equipment reduces. These websites are made with the idea of endorsing illegal activities; somebody who intends on to get into your network surely could use the info that he found on these websites to concede the network.

As the boundaries of bandwidth and encryption algorithms improve, consequently would wireless security. It is just a matter of time beforehand somebody comes up with the method of giving authentic access and protecting the broadcasting; in my opinion where the, wireless security is at a similar pace as wired security. Till then, the network administrators would have to consider all the advantages and disadvantages of each solution that is available, and hopes that they could get their security in place beforehand their network is sent on the war dialing website as a better place to have access to the Internet.



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