Really interesting article in Forbes by Verne Kopytoff on the reasons retailers have recognized the value of Wi-Fi for their customers and business processes. He notes that after years of resistance, stores have conceded that the shoppers have won the war. They want Wi-Fi and they will use their smartphones to check out deals.
There is no doubt that Wi-Fi has many positive effects on the shopping experience and, I would suggest, those effects outweigh the negatives of comparison shopping online in a store. There is also the obvious benefit of making sales associates more efficient and able to serve more customers faster. Anyone who has ever gone into an Apple store near Christmas – and really who has not – has experienced just how fast one can get in and out even in a crowd.
However since retail stores have been late to this party, they need to think about the security implications of adding Wi-Fi and continuing to comply with the PCI DSS wireless scanning requirements. Kopytoff points out that several large retailers added Wi-Fi capabilities just before the holiday season, which is unusual in and of itself since retailers rarely want to disrupt their systems too close to the holidays. In haste, they may have overlooked adding true Wi-Fi security processes to protect credit card data. It will be interesting to see if any problems arise during this season of manic shopping.
smartphones, WiFi Access, Wireless scanning, Wireless security
With the explosive growth of smart devices in the enterprise, Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a hot topic among IT departments these days. In order to secure the network and protect sensitive data on mobile endpoints, many organizations are deploying tools to secure, monitor, and manage smart devices accessing their networks. Installing an MDM agent on mobile assets gives the IT department the ability to enforce VPNs, remotely wipe data off stolen/lost devices, and ensure that devices under management by the IT staff are running the most current and secure applications.
But is this really enough to protect you?
No. In today’s “BYOD” (bring your own device) culture, the reality is that personal smart devices will continue to attach to your network. These devices may not have your favorite MDM agents running on them, thus exposing your network and data to security threats again. Enterprises need a “gatekeeper” control to ensure that only approved devices with an installed MDM agent can attach to the corporate network. By adding a strong WIPS solution to your enterprise security portfolio, you will have the ability to enforce such control and complete your mobile security strategy.
A robust wireless IPS solution (WIPS) will detect, identify and locate unauthorized smart devices connecting to the network, generate a real time alert or even better – block those unmanaged devices from connecting in the first place. Better yet, a good WIPS will allow you to define your security policy by device type, VLAN, and location. For example, iPhones could be allowed to connect to the guest network for Internet access, but could still be blocked from accessing the internal network.
Watch this technical webinar for more information.
Best practices, mobile device management, smartphones, WiFi Access, Wireless security, WLAN networks
Last Friday, a vulnerability in Google’s ClientLogin Protocol was disclosed that makes most Android users vulnerable to ”sidejacking.” All services (Calender, Contacts, Picasa, Stock Quotes, etc.) that use the Google’s ClientLogin API for “Auto Sync” are vulnerable.
Sidejacking (aka session hijacking) is not new to Wi-Fi. Firesheep that caused a stir last October is a recent example of a tool demonstrating sidejacking attack against Twitter and Facebook. The latest vulnerability though holds significance given the huge userbase of Android smartphones commonly using their smartphones at Open Wi-Fi hotspots. Read more…
smartphones, Wireless security
The year 2010 witnessed continued growth in the enterprise WiFi deployments. The growth was fueled by the latest 802.11n revision to WiFi technology in the late 2009 and ready availability of WiFi in most consumer electronic devices launched in 2010, including the smart phones, printers, scanners, cameras, tablets, TVs, etc. The year 2010 also witnessed popularity of the specialized WiFi centric devices, such as MiFi.
However, the year 2010 also has some major WiFi security revelations/incidents in its kitty, which re-emphasize the continued need for adoption of the best practices for secure Wi-Fi deployment/usage. Here is the run-down on significant WiFi insecurity events which we witnessed in 2010:
- Windows 7 virtual WiFi can turn a machine into a soft Rogue, which took Rogue AP thinking to a new level beyond the commercially available AP hardware.
- Insecurity exposed due to MiFi like devices after the WiFi malfunction was experienced at two major trade shows in 2010 due to these devices – the first one was Google’s first public demo of Google TV and second was iPhone 4 launch at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Though this manifested as performance problem, it did show how easy it had become to set up personal HoneyPot AP or Hotspot AP on enterprise premises. Read more…
Due to the overwhelming attendance and response we got to the recent WPA2 Hole196 webinar, we did not have time to answer all the questions asked during the webinar. In this post, we are keeping our promise and answering those webinar questions.
By the way, the webinar slides and recording from this webinar as well as answers to the frequently asked questions on Hole196 and a white paper are available here.
So here we go!
Ban of WEP & TKIP
Wi-Fi Alliance has (finally) decided to take some giant steps in improving the state of wireless security. Starting Jan 2011, TKIP will be disallowed on new APs and from 2012, it will be disallowed on all Wi-Fi devices. Come Jan 2013, WEP will not be allowed on new APs and from 2014, WEP will be disallowed on all Wi-Fi devices. This is the good news. But, let us also get to the “bad” news.
PCI, Wireless scanning, Wireless security
Last week we saw Google facing legal tangles for “accidental interception” of WiFi signals and this week it was Apple facing “mysterious disappearance” of WiFi signals during iPhone-4 demo at WWDC keynote. So “what’s going on”, does WiFi not like us any more? Well, because these things struck Eric and Steve, we got to hear about them, but in fact they strike Tom, Dick and Harry everyday.
But there is a way out of this WiFi chaos. Read more…
Wireless scanning, Wireless security
What % of WiFi laptop users in your organization are vulnerable to WiFishing attacks? The odds are very high that you don’t have an exact answer.
WiFish Finder is a tool for assessing whether WiFi devices active in the air are vulnerable to ‘Wi-Fishing’ attacks. Assessment is performed through a combination of passive traffic sniffing and active probing techniques. Most WiFi clients keep a memory of networks (SSIDs) they have connected to in the past. Wi-Fish Finder first builds a list of probed networks and then using a set of clever techniques also determines security setting of each probed network. A client is a fishing target if it is actively seeking to connect to an OPEN or a WEP network. Clients only willing to connect to WPA or WPA2 networks are not completely safe either!
To find out why – you’r welcome to try out WiFish Finder a vulnerability assessment tool built by Sohail and Prabhash, members of security research team at AirTight Networks. Sohail is presenting WiFish Finder at DefCon 2009 today. Demo version of this tool (Version 1.0) can be downloaded from http://airtightnetworks.com/fileadmin/downloads/WiFishFinder-v0.1.zip
Sohail is also planning to release WiFish Finder Ver 2.0 with speed, usability and feature enhancements (such as PEAP vulnerability detection) upon his return from Las Vegas. To download full featured version of WiFish Finder and for tips on protecting your laptop from Wi-Fishing attacks, visit http://www.airtightnetworks.com/wifishfinder.This URL will be operational in 4-5 days.
What % of WiFi laptop users in your organization are vulnerable to WiFishing attacks? Well, you only have to wait another 4-5 days to find out the answer!
-*- Pravin -*-
Best practices, Wireless scanning, Wireless security