Looking Back At Wireless Security In 2003
by Berislav Kucan - Friday, 26 December 2003.
Kismet, the popular 802.11 wireless network sniffer, received a lot of updates throughout the year. In February it was announced that kismet-devel is now supporting remote drone sniffers for distributed sniffing. The next couple of months brought us a Perl module that simplifies writing Kismet clients in Perl, Debian packages of the -devel tree, Gentoo ebuild scripts and possibility of doing OSX Viha capturing. At the end of July, version 3.0.0 stable was released, which was upgraded to 3.0.1 in a week, resulting with a lot of bugfixes. Besides the news I have noted, this new version offered integration with snort, new packet engine, a stateful packet inspector and a new alert system. Since then, the software is in constant development, so we will see what will Kismet developers bring us in the year 2004.

As for NetStumbler, there really weren't any breaking news in 2003. This software has a great respect from a number of wireless security enthusiasts, so everyone was expecting a new version (the current 0.3.30 version was released in August 2002). At the beginning of the December, the product's developer announced that he is working on 0.4 version, which will "work better and on more cards than ever before". For the handheld geeks, "MiniStumbler will come with it, and it will work on the Dell CF cards as well as Prism CF and PC cards". No dates were mentioned for these releases.

While taking a look at Wardriving software gadgets, it was expected that Warlinux will get its update to 0.6. This handy bootable Linux CD distribution, proved to be a useful tool for both the systems administrators that want to audit and evaluate their wireless network installations, as well as ever present wardrivers. Somewhere in May 2003, the software developer, who is also running the popular wardriving.com web site, gave some brief information that 0.6 is in progress, but because the lack of free time and some hardware crashes the release was postponed. For the BSD fans out there, WarLinux idea inspired the creation of WarBSD, a FreeBSD 5.0 based wireless network auditing kit. The author notes that "at this point, WarBSD is still very much in its infancy", but the hopes are high for this project.

A couple of weeks ago, AirScanner Corporation, announced the discontinuation of their Mobile Sniffer. As I was expecting the Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 port of this tool, it really came to me as a surprise that the tool was offed.

Wireless security books

I've read and reviewed a number of books dealing with wireless security and the best two (from my perspective) were "Wireless Hacks" by Rob Flickenger and "How Secure is Your Wireless Network? Safeguarding Your Wi-Fi LAN" by Lee Barken. These books were so good and they deserve to receive the exposure in this 2003 overview. I should just note that "Wireless Hacks" is not solely concentrated to security topics, but it has its fair share of security tips. Some of my favorable comments on these books were:

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