Wireless security woes

During a recent security conference in Washington, Todd Waskelis, director of security consulting for managed security services provider Guardent Inc., Waltham, Mass., drove through the city to show how many wireless networks remain unsecured. One 30-minute drive, using only freeware sniffer software and off-the-shelf hardware, revealed 124 wireless access points sending out beacon, or identification, signals, including apparently two from prominent government agencies.

Of these, 71 spots were not secured by the wireless encryption protocol, although some sites may be protected by other proprietary solutions, Waskelis said. Usually about 60 percent of the sites he sees during these drives are unprotected by any means, he said. Guardent held the exercise to introduce its new baseline security assessment service.


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