Saturday, 10 November 2012 16:36

Wireless Encryption, Or How Secure is Secure

Code

Suppose I have a picture that I have been given. This picture is not something that the owner wants shown to the world so they have given me a list of people that can see it. When someone wants to see it I ask them who they are and if their name is on the list I show it to them. However, this plan is not working out that well so the owner decides to add some requirements. Now when someone wants to see the picture they have to show ID. Still people are getting around that with fake IDs, so now the owner gives out a special code word that is unique to each person while still maintaining the requirement for ID. To make things even more secure I have a picture of each person and a copy of their ID. What I have described here is a very simple explanation of the way that some of the different levels of encryption work; from the very basic to much more complex routines. In this article we will be talking about encryption as it relates to wireless access points and we can tell you up front you will be surprised at how insecure some of them are.

Kingston-logoWith all of the security related news flying around we have received word from Kingston about an issue that affects the encryption feature in their SSDNow V+200 and KC100 lines. The issue is with the level of encryption that the SF-2000 is presenting. According to LSI (Pronounce that SandForce) the SF-2000 should be encrypting your data with 256-bit AES encryption. The problem is that it is not providing that and is instead only hitting 128-Bit AES Encryption.

ap02In my time in IT I have worked with a number of wireless devices for the consumer and for businesses. These have ranged everywhere from simple $40 products that are only meant to get you online (not fast, but online) to multi-component wireless systems costing thousands of dollars. All of these still use the same basic technology to get you connected and to pass traffic between your device and the internet. At their heart is going to be a wireless radio, but this does not mean that all wireless products are the same; quite the opposite in fact. There is a clear line between wireless for the average home and wireless for the average business. The factors are mostly in the software used and the features that you have at your disposal, but you also will often have more advanced hardware under the hood as well. Today we will be taking a look at standalone wireless access point that is aimed at the business market (although there are many things that consumers will like about as well). This is the NETGEAR WNDAP360 ProSafe Dual Band Wireless Access Point; let’s see if worth the $290 it will cost to put one of these in your office.