Real 802.11 Security: Wi-Fi Protected Access and 802.11i

Author: Jon Edney, William A. Arbaugh
List Price: $44.99
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ISBN: 0321136209
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub Co (15 July, 2003)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 10,512
Average Customer Rating: 4.89 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
The Best Details For Wireless Security
This is a very advanced book, not for the meek at heart. Exceptionally well written with five pages of references, three pages of acronyms and three appendices: AES encryption / block cipher, message modification and file integrity. The authors spare no details about wireless security, yet are still able to make thing easy to understand. Written from an engineering standpoint with emphasis on design and construction of wireless networks, Real 802.11 Security gets down to the nuts and bolts of how wireless works, the current standards now in use and the design implications of the newest standards in development.

Edney and Arbaugh show just how "loose" current wireless systems really are, their vulnerabilities and the most common attack methods used, including man in the middle, WEP cracking and MAC spoofing. They detail the layers of transmittion and how those layers interact in the most common wireless scenarios. They also define the terms and uses of current wireless security including the latest methods under development.

The authors start by making sense of the alphabet soup of wireless security including WEP, RSN, 802.1x, LEAP, PEAP and Radius. They dig down to the actual tools and processes used to hack wireless networks and give excellent summaries of the most commonly used methods. Their examples detail the uses of headers, their encryption and the algorithms used by each security protocol. They then show how each protocol is broken down, how server and client interact and the security holes present.

After a good overview of the current landscape, Edney and Arbaugh go on to show the reader how each protocol stacks up against one another, thus allowing the reader greater flexibility to decide just which type or types of security maybe right for their wireless environment(s). They also give very good examples of the problems inherent to communication and authentication in highly mobile, fast paced environments. The authors go into the details and difficulties of how to strengthen wireless networks thru the understanding and use of algorithms, hardware authentication and transport layer security.

Edney and Arbaugh finalize their book by showing how the protocols are applied and the details of implementing Wi-Fi security in day-to-day actual situations. They use screen shots of actual tools in use making it easier for the novice radio buff to understand the whole process. Any white hat will enjoy the final chapter as the authors proceed to show details on how to craft your own client and server side certificates, construct and harden a RADIUS server using open source software and plan your network.

A must read for all IT professionals running wireless in any sensitive environment. As a learning experience Real 802.11 Security should not be taken lightly by any professional currently designing and implementing wireless solutions.


Rating: 5 out of 5
For serious understanding of 802.11 security issues
This is the most comprehensive book on the issues of 802.11 security I have found to date. Most books simply reiterate the basics of wireless security architecture and then spend a chapter or two on the hacking tools for locating networks and defeating WEP. Edney and Arbaugh start with the basic insecurities, and then build on the explanation layer after layer from the overview to the cryptography and its implementation. You as the reader decide how deep your understanding needs to go.

This book covers WEP, WPA and 802.11i in detail. As its title suggests, it is focused on the issues of security so don't expect a general treatment of Wireless Architecture in addition. This is the most definitive book I have seen about the exposures of the security mechanisms themselves, but you will need a volume that covers site survey and architecture to appreciate all of the issues involved in 802.11 I found chapter on Security Principals especially accessible reading for those new to the Infosec field.


Rating: 5 out of 5
Excellent Info and Easy to Read!
The material you need to know to secure wireless LANs is definitely not easy to learn. However, with this book, the authors explain the concepts in a clear and simple matter. Yes, it was actually fun reading about how encryption and the security suites can protect WLANs. Reading this book answered all the questions I had about the new 802.11i and WPA which are replacing the broken WEP. I highly recommend this book to everyone who owns and operates an access point including beginners at home and experts in the enterprise.

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