Summer is almost over and for many families in the USA, kids everywhere are heading back to school. So from this education segway, here’s a summary of what we have learned this month about Wi-Fi. Class, open your iPads or SurfacePro3s, get your styli out, associate to an AP, and get ready for a wild “educational” ride as we look at WLAN Wrapup for August 2014. (“Now Billy, you are not permitted to deauth Sally’s laptop…”)
Wi-Fi and the NFL (cue NFL theme music) Yes, Football is back, and so is Wi-Fi! The preseason Patriots-Redskins game had a few Wi-Fi glitches. More teams are using Wi-Fi on tablets to get plays from the coaching booth, instead of sending down the standard printed pictures in large binders. Will Wi-Fi become a common tool on the NFL sidelines, just like headsets and gauze tape? If so, connectivity will need to improve. Maybe every NFL team will need to hire a WLAN engineer as well as a conditioning coach? (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would you like a résumé?)
Happy Birthday, 802.11ac! It’s been one year since the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ac program was launched by Wi-Fi.org. More than 600 products have obtained Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac certification, demonstrating impressive adoption of 802.11ac in the market. Also, rapid adoption is taking the advantages of the 5 GHz band to into the mainstream market.
Round Two in the Fight for Net Neutrality. Woody Leonhard (Windows Secrets) says that the FCC commissioner Wheeler’s comments on net neutrality has set a new low for political double-talk! Over 1.1M have made comments on the FCC site already (the most ever since the Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction”). You can still add your voice to the overwhelming number of Americans who want to preserve net neutrality as the public comment period has been extended until September 15. The FCC proceeding number is 14-28 and you can enter your comments here.
Another great article on net neutrality can be found at Atlanta Tech Blogs (Kevin Sandlin’s startup group)
Wireless Field Day 7 was an incredible four days, meeting some great WLAN engineers and talking Wi-Fi tech into the late hours of the night! Be sure you check out the Wi-Fi Roundtables held at the end of Day 2 of WFD7. All the videos plus delegate blogs can be found here.
Felines and Frames — Double-Take !!
Wi-Fi Kitty #1: At the DefCon conference, security researcher Gene Bransfield demonstrated his War Kitteh cat collar, and showed the audience how they, too, can turn their pet into a Wi-Fi spy.
Wi-Fi Kitty #2: This Cat can Hack! In Atlanta, a guy rigged a cat collar with a Wi-Fi card and GPS to determine how many home access points had open security. Video here.
So what’s next — a Labrador with a Wi-Fi Pineapple strapped to its back? And I bet they’re even going to call it DDoS – Dog Denial of Service! 🙂
CWNP Five Part Video Series. Tom Carpenter and CWNP conducted a five-part video blog series this month covering topics about 802.11ac analysis and throughput testing, using Kali Linux in Wi-Fi testing plus BYOD and MDM. Each video is about 30 minutes in length and all five videos can be found on YouTube.
Black Hat/Defcon was held on August 2-7 at Las Vegas. Did you go–and what were your takeaways? Aruba provided open Wi-Fi for the conference, but you could get a WPA2 passphrase for encryption provided by the conference organizers, or you could take advantage of creating a private account on top of that to get your own private key. But as you well know, many do not try Wi-Fi at all at a hacking conference! For example, this Forbes article on the conference reported that on one conference afternoon, only 1000 of the 8000 attendees were connected via Wi-Fi.
Pinging the Internet. By now, it’s everywhere — “Internet cartographer” John Matherly who pinged everything on the Internet and put down their locations and densities on the world map. Matherly used Shodan to do this, which he calls the “scariest search engine on the planet”. Some are asking was this IPv4 (I imagine it was) and what would it look like if he pinged using IPv6? And I want to know if he could ping and isolate only Wi-Fi connections? Now, that wireless map would be fascinating to see!
And from the “Wi-Fi in Poetry” Department, I’ve pulled up a classic. What–you don’t like poetry? Remember as WLAN professionals, we need to be balanced and diverse in our knowledge; both technology and fine arts need to be in our skill sets! I hope you enjoy this one from taken from the Wi-Fi poetry archives.
Hacking an AP on a Snowy Evening
(with apologies to Robert Frost)¹
Whose AP this is, I think I know.
His security is very lacking, though.
He will not see me sniffing here
To hack his frames and alter their flow.
My little Pineapple must think it queer
To hack without a certificate here
Between TKIP, WEP and injected frames
The most open AP of the year.
My Piney gives his antennas a shake
To ping as if there’s some mistake
The only other sound’s the beep
Of BackTrack5 and AP-Fake
The AP is open, cracked thanks to LEAP
But I have other hacks to keep
And frames to sniff before I sleep
And frames to sniff before I sleep
Author unknown (and it’s probably best it stays that way….)
¹The original Robert Frost poem can be found here: