Wireless Security - Ten Reasons to Protect Your Wireless Network

One of the best PC innovations of the past few years is the ability to put up a wireless network in your very own home. Wireless networks open up a number of exciting possibilities and home applications. You can now bring an internet connection wherever you are in your home without snaking cables all over the place. You can stream music or even video files from your PC to wireless set top boxes in your living room, you can even access online gaming services through your consoles using a wireless router.

But along with the uses of and benefits of having a wireless network there are also new issues that you have to contend with as an owner and user of a wireless network at home. One of the biggest issues involving wireless networks is security. As an owner of a wireless network it is your task to keep your network secure. Exploiting the vulnerabilities of a wireless network is one of the worst issues that wireless network owners have to face.

Below are the reasons why you should keep your wireless network secure:

Eavesdropping. Anonymous users can intercept the radio signals of your wireless network and be able to read the data you are transmitting. Eavesdroppers can get the following information on the network they are trying to “attack”: who uses the wireless network, which files or computers in the network are accessible, and its coverage area, among others.

Communications jamming. This type of threat happens when there is interference (either intentional or unintentional) that overwhelms either the sender or receiver in the link.

Denial of Service Attack. When an “attacker” manages to jam the entire network he can cause a Denial of Service (DOS) attack. There are two types of DOS attacks that you should be wary of:

Data modification and injection. This happens when an attacker manages to add or change data in an existing connection as a means of hijacking the connection or sending malicious data or commands.

Man in the Middle attack. These are quite similar to injection attacks. The attacker may pretend to be the legitimate network resource. When a PC in a network establishes connection the attacker can now capture the connection. He then would initiate the completion of the connection to the original resource, proxying the communications to that resource. The attacker now has the ability to do all sorts of malicious commands to your computer.

Rogue clients. Attackers can clone a client’s identification and then try to enter a network and use its services.

Rogue network access points. An attacker can make a rogue access point and then use it to pretend he’s a legitimate network resource.

War driving. There are people who make it their mission to search for wireless LANs that are open by driving around in the city. Many war drivers don’t usually do this to mount malicious attacks – only to find free internet access.

Client to Client attacks. Once an attacker is able to successfully access a network client, he can use that connection to leverage further attacks on other PCs in the network.

Data theft. Attackers can steal delicate or sensitive information or data from your network.

There are methods to protect against these ten types of attacks, and using them can keep your wireless network safe and secure.