Wireless

802.11n and UWB

Excellent story explaing 802.11n and Ultra-Wide Band (UWB)
Full article at: NE Asia Online 2005 Oct : 802.11n or UWB?: "802.11n or UWB? Two major candidates are competing to become the wireless interface destined to feature in home digital equipment: IEEE802.11n, and Ultra-WideBand (UWB).

The day is coming fast when home digital equipment will have wireless interfaces, implementing wireless transmission of high-definition television (HDTV) imagery and high-speed swapping of still pictures and audio content with portable gear.

There are two major candidates for the wireless interface: 802.11n, a next-generation wireless local area network (LAN) built on spatial multiplexing using multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technology, and Ultra-WideBand (UWB) wireless technology using ultra-wideband technologies such as Wireless Universal Serial Bus (USB). 11n offers a long range of up to 200m, and is viewed as the most likely contender for the home network backbone. UWB, on the other hand, is likely to make best use of its low-power, high-speed operation in short-range equipment interconnect, such as personal computers (PC) and portable equipment.

At present both 11n and UWB are being supported as industry standards by multiple groups in competition with each other, with no clear victor in sight. In 11n, the TGn Sync industry body primarily composed of home appliance manufacturers is in collision with the World-Wide Spectrum Efficiency (WWiSE) group, comprised of mostly wireless LAN chip manufacturers, wireless LAN vendors and similar firms. In UWB the situation is similar, with the DS-UWB scheme based on direct-sequence spread-spectrum technology competing with Wireless USB using multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) for the position of 'standard technology'. Equipment manufacturers have assumed the technologies would continue to coexist, watching and waiting to see if one falls by the wayside."

An IPod Cellphone Said to Be Imminent

If you're like me you just don't care about The Rumors that Apple Computer and Motorola plan to unveil a long-awaited mobile phone and music player next week that will incorporate Apple's iTunes software. Roger Entner, a telecommunications analyst with Ovum, a market research firm, said he had been told by an industry executive that the new phone, to be made by Motorola, would be marketed by Cingular Wireless. Mr. Entner said it would include iTunes software, which helps power the iPod. I'll get excited when a phone takes good pictures, plays 20 gigs of music, has all my PDA stuff in it, takes great videos, and shoots laser beams. Thanks again to search-engines-web.com

New York State Library becomes a WIFI hotspot

I got this note just now. Thought it should be posted.

Bill Drew drewwe@morrisville.edu

NY State Library becomes a WIFI hotspot

The New York State Library in Albany welcomes visitors looking for free wireless internet access. The Library's high-speed broadband wireless network will allow individuals to access the Internet from their own wireless-enabled laptop computer on the 7th floor of the State Library during library hours. The wireless network is open to all visitors, free of charge. Getting online is quick and simple - no special encryption settings, user names or passwords are required. Researcher tables at the State Library are equipped with electrical outlets so that customers can plug their laptops directly into the table.

For more information on using the wireless network at the State Library, go to http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/wireless.htm or call the Library at 518-474-5355.

Group from Ithaca, NY draws praise

This editorial appeared in the Ithaca Journal. Ithaca is where I grew up and it is often described as "10 square miles srrounded by reality." Things like this show that is not always the case. I still live in Tompkins County and am proud of the area. - Bill Drew

The full story is at:
Literacy: Local group earns praise

There are times when we are reminded there's more to life's equation than cynicism comprehends. There are those who need, but there are tireless people doing wonderful things to help others.

Family Reading Partnership co-founder and Executive Director Brigid Hubberman's inclusion in the July 22 Newsweek “America's Best� feature is one of those reminders.

Nominated by Ithacan and Cornell staff writer Diane Lebo Wallace, Hubberman shares the spotlight in the feature with two Georgia mothers who created a medical research foundation, doctors who work with Africa's poor, a man who created a store that “sells� food to the hungry at whatever price they can afford, and a man who uses the outdoors to empower at-risk kids. It's a national stage and some grand company, and an honor Hubberman and all those behind the Family Reading Partnership richly deserve.

For most Tompkins County residents, the Family Reading Partnership has become as much a part of our reality as walks in cool summer gorges and hot-tempered debates about everything. For years it's been hard to drive or walk around the area without stopping to stare at one of the partnership's giant “Read to Me� banners, created and spread out around the county courtesy of the group's massive contributor network and coalition of individuals, schools, libraries and businesses. The group's goal is to promote reading as a family value - particularly reading aloud to young children to promote literacy and lifelong communication skills — and they put up more than banners to do it.

New Wireless xMax

Anonymous Patron writes "xMax radio modulation and encoding technology. By combining elements of traditional narrowband carrier systems with key elements found in low-power wideband systems, xMax delivers data rates orders of magnitude higher than other broadband approaches without causing harmful interference to neighboring spectrum users."

New Wireless xMax

Anonymous Patron writes "xMax radio modulation and encoding technology. By combining elements of traditional narrowband carrier systems with key elements found in low-power wideband systems, xMax delivers data rates orders of magnitude higher than other broadband approaches without causing harmful interference to neighboring spectrum users."

New flash demo of how wireless hackers work, and how they use their cracking tools

Elizabeth writes "THROUGH A HACKER’S EYES: LUCIDLINK RELEASES DEMO CHRONICLING WI-FI HACKER ATTACK
New Flash Demo Gives Viewers Rare Glimpse into the World of Wireless Hackers, Wardrivers

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN—JUNE 29, 2005—To truly understand a criminal, you have to get inside his mind and think as he does. Follow his steps. See what he sees. LucidLink Wireless Security has done just that, creating a Flash demonstration that chronicles the steps hackers follow while tapping into wireless networks to gain access to confidential information. In an attempt to raise awareness about the security implications of unsecured wireless networking, LucidLink has recently added the demonstration to its website, www.lucidlink.com .

The demonstration takes viewers through a step-by-step explanation of a hacker’s activities, explaining how war drivers find wireless networks, gather information about them, and eventually infiltrate them in order to gain access to personal identity and company confidential information. The demonstration uses screen shots captured from freely available hacker programs so that viewers can see what hackers see as they click their way closer to breaking into even secured wireless networks.

Especially troubling is the demonstration of a hacker’s ability to crack even 128-bit WEP keys, used for encryption in most commercial wireless routers, instantaneously rendering a secure network unsecured. Once a hacker has captured the WEP key, along with the data identifying a user’s network, he can “zero in� on the wireless network- even from miles away- to eavesdrop on the user without ever being detected.

LucidLink outlines the steps hackers follow while attempting to break into a wireless network, summarized as: Capturing data about the network, cracking the WEP key, and reading the data without the user’s knowledge. The demonstration explains how tools used by hackers are readily available on the Internet, as are maps compiled by wardrivers, which show the locations and addresses of private wireless networks- all for use by hackers and criminals.

In addition to outlining the threats posed by hackers to wireless networks in their online demonstration, LucidLink offers a solution to wireless users: LucidLink Home Office Edition. An advanced wireless network security software capable of supporting up to 3 users, LucidLink Home Office was designed with the security concerns outlined in the company’s Flash demonstration in mind. The software is available free for download at www.lucidlink.com, and allows home office users to quickly and easily protect themselves against wireless attacks with one of the most trusted security products on the market.

To view this demonstration, download LucidLink’s Home Office Edition, or for additional information about wireless security, please visit www.lucidlink.com.

About Interlink Networks and LucidLink Wireless Security
Interlink Networks, Inc. is a 12-year leader in network security software solutions. The company's new signature software, LucidLink Wireless Security, was awarded “Product of the Year� by CRN Magazine, and is the only product to win two consecutive "Best in Show" Wi-Fi Planet awards. Interlink's technology awards include COMNET New Product Achievement Award Finalist, Communication News Editors' Choice Award, and Network Computing Well-Connected Award Finalist. Interlink Networks is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, call (734) 821-1231 or visit www.LucidLink.com."

StarOS Wireless Router violates GPL

Anonymous Patron writes "It seems that StarOS might be in violation of the GPL. What's interesting is that they provide links to all the GPL and BSD software they use in their Station Router (a commercial Wireless router) but there is no source for the modifications they made to the linux kernel which prevent you from seeing kernel messages when it boots and also stops you from mounting the root filesystem outside of StarOS and of course they don't give you a shell. Is this legal? The GPL forbids use of GPL'ed code in closed-source, proprietary software."

Note from Bill Drew: "Anonymous Patron" does not offer any documentation on this issue just speculation.

Federal Agencies Need to Improve Controls over Wireless Networks

The following are quotes from a new GAO report:May 2005, GAO -05-383: Federal Agencies Need to Improve Controls over Wireless Networks
Click on the title to see the entire report.

Extracts from the report:

What GAO Found:

Wireless networks offer a wide range of benefits to federal agencies,
including increased flexibility and ease of network installation. They also
present significant security challenges, including protecting against attacks
to wireless networks, establishing physical control over wireless-enabled
devices, and preventing unauthorized deployments of wireless networks. To
secure wireless devices and networks and protect federal information and
information systems, it is crucial for agencies to implement controls—such
as developing wireless security policies, configuring their security tools to
meet policy requirements, monitoring their wireless networks, and training
their staffs in wireless security.
However, federal agencies have not fully implemented key controls such as
policies, practices, and tools that would enable them to operate wireless
networks securely. Further, our tests of the security of wireless networks at
six federal agencies revealed unauthorized wireless activity and “signal
leakage”—wireless signals broadcasting beyond the perimeter of the
building and thereby increasing the networks’ susceptibility to attack (see
figure). Without implementing key controls, agencies cannot adequately
secure federal wireless networks and, as a result, their information may be
at increased risk of unauthorized disclosure, modification, or destruction.

Why do the Study

The use of wireless networks is
becoming increasingly popular.
Wireless networks extend the
range of traditional wired networks
by using radio waves to transmit
data to wireless-enabled devices
such as laptops. They can offer
federal agencies many potential
benefits but they are difficult to
secure.

GAO was asked to study the
security of wireless networks
operating within federal facilities.
This report (1) describes the
benefits and challenges associated
with securing wireless networks,
(2) identifies the controls available
to assist federal agencies in
securing wireless networks,
(3) analyzes the wireless security
controls reported by each of the 24
agencies under the Chief Financial
Officers (CFO) Act of 1990, and
(4) assesses the security of
wireless networks at the
headquarters of six federal
agencies in Washington, D.C.

What GAO Recommends

GAO recommends that the Director
of the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) instruct the
agencies to ensure that wireless
network security is incorporated
into their agencywide information
security programs in accordance
with the Federal Information
Security Management Act. OMB
generally agreed with the contents
of this report.

Whence & Whether Wireless

Anonymous Patron writes "Whence & Whether WirelessL Wireless Accee & Laptop Lending, A presentation for the NJ library Assoc. Spring conference last month."

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