Interview with Charles R. Elden, co-author of "Wireless Security and Privacy"
by Mirko Zorz - Tuesday, 11 February 2003.
Unfortunately, I believe the answer is both. The media does tend to highlight the sensational aspects that they wish to highlight while leaving out critical details or assumptions.

These actions can be a real problem if the purpose of such actions is to do damage to the network or company to which these actions grant access. Again, it comes back to "What are you concerned about?" By properly configuring and restricting wireless access you can eliminate, or at least minimize the potential damage these actions can have on you network.

What are your predictions for the future when it comes to wireless security?

I would like to say that those responsible for building wireless security into the devices would read our book, do the right thing, and design security in from the start. However, the real answer is that the consumers will dictate what will be the future of wireless security. The companies are going to try to produce what the consumer demands, at the lowest cost possible. Companies believe that the consumer is willing to accept reduced security for greater functionality. Unless pressed otherwise by consumers, security will not be the focus for these companies and will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future.

My experience shows that security is not an end state, but a continual process. I am sure the security profile of wireless devices and networks will improve. However, the functionality of these systems will also increase, which will likely introduce new vulnerabilities or provide additional avenues for exploitation.

What are your future plans? Any exciting new projects?

My background and experience is a driving force encouraging me to assist concerned individuals and companies to overcome the security and technological challenges they face.

In addition to my consulting activities, I am exploring the options of writing another security book based on the I-ADD process described in the "Wireless Security and Privacy" book, focused this time on critical infrastructure. I am also working on a project integrating several technologies into a new product, which is all I can say about it for now.

I am also excited about a novel I have half completed, a fictionalized account based on real-life experiences of myself and other CIA Technical Operations Officers travelling, meeting assets, working with advanced technology, etc. I hope to have it completed and ready for a publisher this fall.


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