Wireless Insecurity

Wireless is of course handy for mobile devices but a LAN that runs off the premises is risky. SJVN recently wrote about a hole in XP’s wireless stack that has been around for several years and some treat it as a feature rather than a bug.

Where I work, we use wireless not for mobility but to extend the LAN into corners without copper. Here the potential intruders are not out in the bush hacking in but students in our building with pocket-sized wireless devices (prohibited for paedegogical reasons too). We could soon implement increased security but it is easier to shore up a few services on our LAN than distributing keys to our high-maintenance users. Students have access to the LAN via our desktop PCs in any event. It is just a question whether their unauthorized devices are potentially bringing in malware. Since adding Sophos, that problem seems to be under control. At least, Sophos seems to be a larger problem than malware at the moment.

The issue is on the ToDo radar. We have a couple of staff member who bring laptops to work. I would have to block them by MAC after keys were distributed. Since convenience is the order of the day, I doubt that would fly…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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