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Researchers Suggest New Way to Measure Wi-Fi Attacks

By - Source: Eurekalert | B 9 comments

Researchers at North Carolina State University said they have found a way to quantify the effect of malicious attacks on wireless networks. If scientist can measure the impact and the potential disruption, they may be able to develop new security technologies.

"This information can be used to help us design more effective security systems, because it tells us which attacks – and which circumstances – are most harmful to Wi-Fi systems," said Wenye Wang, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research.

Wang stated that her team looked at two generic Wi-Fi attack models, one of them being a persistent attacks and the other one being an intermittent attack that blocks access on a periodic basis. The goal was to compare how these attacks perform in different scenarios, including different numbers of users. the result was a metric called "order gain", which compares the probability of an attacker having access to the Wi-Fi network to the probability of a legitimate user having access to the network: "If an attacker has an 80% chance of accessing the network, and other users have the other 20%, the order gain would be 4 – because the attackers odds of having access are 4 to 1."

"If we want to design effective countermeasures," Wang says, "we have to target the attacks that can cause the most disruption. It's impossible to prevent every conceivable attack." He suggested focusing on persistent attacks that target networks with large numbers of users – "because that scenario has the largest order gain."

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  • 2 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , September 14, 2011 1:59 AM
    typically, its rare for companies to have 'important' data accessable through wireless netwroks, most are still hardline..this seems somewhat useless..?
  • -7 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , September 14, 2011 2:00 AM
    typically, its rare for companies to have 'important' data accessable through wireless netwroks, most are still hardline..this seems somewhat useless..?
  • 4 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , September 14, 2011 2:35 AM
    No I desagree with you "Kaiser_25" I like the idea & in the future it will benefit more people then you think.
  • 6 Hide
    shoelessinsight , September 14, 2011 3:15 AM
    In my personal experience, most companies have just as much information available over their wireless network as they do over the network cables.

    Most of the time, they seem to just grab a wireless router from the local electronics store and plug it into the network so they can put their portable toys on the internet.

    On the other end of things, there are also those businesses that move almost all their data over the wireless since most of their computers are laptops and smartphones.

    Either way, wireless networks represent a significant vulnerability no matter how well a business segregates and manages their network. Practicing good security is always a worthwhile investment.
  • 0 Hide
    webbwbb , September 14, 2011 3:30 AM
    Wait, is Wenye Wang a he, she, or other? This individual is referred to as both "her" and "He".
  • -2 Hide
    _Cubase_ , September 14, 2011 3:40 AM
    I'll do anything my Wang says... so wireless security is no exception. Lead the way Wang!
  • 0 Hide
    SirGCal , September 14, 2011 4:10 AM
    shoelessinsightMost of the time, they seem to just grab a wireless router from the local electronics store and plug it into the network so they can put their portable toys on the internet.


    Any major business will not allow this. Infact, if you tried this at my company, you'd not only be fired instantly, but arrested as well for breach of security concerns. Not to mention the litigation that would surely follow...

    Many companies do have a full wireless network but also have the proper securities to encrypt them (and therefore further slowing them down... ugg...) and control what is and isn't on their network.
  • 0 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , September 14, 2011 10:38 AM
    Anyway,I hope that this idea comes into fruitition & does not stagnate.
  • 0 Hide
    thrasher32 , September 14, 2011 1:38 PM
    He said "wang" LMAO