Computer and Network Infrastructure Attacks P2P & Wireless Networking
P2P and Wireless networking are two of the most fast emerging technological trends in Computer and Networking infrastructure - Computer and Network Infrastructure Attacks P2P & Wireless Networking introduction. Despite the positive aspects of P2P file-sharing it is a wrong notion prevailing among users that P2P threat comes only from the various freeware, shareware and other MP3 accessible allied softwares. The impact of their negative intentions is very threatening indeed and is the subject matter of this paper.
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Also according to estimates by industry analysts it is predicted that wireless LAN equipment will grow continuously higher to $ 5.9 billion in 2006. However the related unnerving fact reported by findings also indicates that 80% of these enterprise wireless LAN networks will remain susceptible to intrusion. Hence it has been strongly recommended to discover rogue access points, foreign devices connected to corporate access points and accidental tagging on to nearby company access points which compromise network security.
Description of the Attack
Most newer versions of P2P software automatically attempt to create a session on different communication ports. Thus they dynamically adapt to the blocking mechanisms incorporated in the corporate networks where ISP and other corporate traffic should also be allowed through the existing set of ports only. The threat proliferates beyond email to applications such as instant messaging, P2P and file sharing.
Impact of the Attack
Due to P2P activity your workstations and files can actually be communicating with unauthorized users and exchanging files. It is a widely known fact that some of the most dangerous worms like Swen, Lirva, Fizzen worm are resultant of propagation through P2P programs. The worst part of the P2P is that the infiltration is hard to detect or completely remove as footprints are left in the registry databases and configuration files. Ironically more damage is caused by the above worm infested malawares when their uninstall program is run.
Detecting / Solving P2P Attacks
Even if one’s budget only allows for a single solution to the above teething problem go for protecting the desktop. One should seriously consider blocking P2P ports on the network. P2P software such as Kazaa, Morpheus, BearShare and others can port scan, tunnel and even camouflage as HTTP traffic over port 80. One could also implement packet-filtering firewalls such as ipchains (or iptables) in Linux, Microsoft ISA Server for Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 or the free Cisco NBAR.
Description of the Attack
A rogue wireless device is any unauthorized wireless device connected to an authorized enterprise network or device. Posing one of the greatest risks to an enterprise’s network security, the rogue wireless devices compromise contemporary wired and wireless networks circumventing even the powerful of security mechanisms. It has also been found that enterprises sans wireless implementations are at a higher risk from rogue devices. A particular category of rogue devices called the stealth rogue devices sneak into the corporate network disguised in the form of power adapters which go undetected by wired-side network scanners. These reveal confidential information to the hacker well outside the perimeter of the enterprise network. Soft access points (AP) and malicious access points and association are other forms of intrusion hazards of these rogue wireless devices.
Impact of the Attack
Some of the risks due to insecurity in WLAN environment as above are loss of financial data, reputation, trade secrets, patents, foregoing of customer privacy, accrued legal implications and compromise of wired infrastructure such as switches and routers. Hence the necessity for detection of these rogue devices need not be overemphasized.
Detection of Attack
A complete solution towards the detection of rogue devices must also detect all WLAN hardware and activities including classification and distinguishing of rogue devices on the network from wireless unauthorized devices sharing the airspace, a forensic analysis detailed enough for the rogue devices and associations, study of present and past behavior of rogue devices thereby assessing its risk, detection of its network and physical location and termination of rogue devices using wired and wireless mechanisms.
1. The Downside of P2P, White Paper, 12 Jul 2006, Hewlett-Packard Company.
2. Getting Rid of P2P, White Paper, 20 Sep 2006, TechTarget.
3. Tired of Rogues, White Paper, copyright 2002-2006, Air defense Inc.
4. Wireless is the future of networking; Security is the #1 concern,
Source: Gartner Dataquest, Aug 2005.