11 July 2005

Wireless & Warchalking

After a long weekend (and an extra day off on friday) it was straight back into the wireless networking arena today as me & Bob attempted to set up an example of a secure (sic) network.

The problem is that all the wifi devices we have are different. My SanDisk 256mb+wifi card seems to be the most restrictive as it doesn't seem to support wpa-psk properly. We finally got it to work with wep (64-bit) although it didn't seem to work with the newer more secure protocols. It looks like we will need to set-up a radius server to use either WPA or 802.1X protocols. Of course we don't just have radius servers propping doors open so it means installing one from scratch.

Bob is slightly more security conscious now suggesting he may have read the article I sent him about why the WEP protocol isn't very secure. In the interests of security I have also tracked down a couple of articles on wardriving, specifically so we can keep an eye out for the appearance of chalk symbols appearing on our buildings. I think this is unlikely as the wireless equipment is not used for any length of time but better to be informed about these things.

The article with the symbols can be found here.

I was also reminded of a utility which detects wifi networks called net-stumbler. It's been a long time since I last looked at this but it seems they now have a PDA version so I hope to try it out very soon.

Another site which I think may become useful is Wi-Fi Zonefinder. Although we should not really be encouraging our students to frequent the local bars, it turns out that the Roebuck (approx 100 yards from the front door) is listed as a wi-fi hotspot.