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802.11 Security Paperback – 27 Dec 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (27 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596002904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596002909
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,391,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


' Digest what Gast has to say and you'll be far ahead of the power curve. -- Joel Snyder Network World, August 12, 2002

'802.11 Security' is all the tool you need to keep intruders out of your network. -- Michael Dominowski, Staten Island Advance, Jan 12, 2003

'802.11 Security' will be invaluable to administrators who need to deploy a small-or medium-scale wireless network on a budget. -- David J. Bianco, Infosec, March 2003

Gast has produced something of an encyclopedia that more advanced users will readily access often for reference and insight. -- North Bay Multimedia Association, August 2002

If you want to deploy an 802.11 on a large scale, then you probably want this book as a definitive reference. -- Brian D Foy, Ther Perl Review, May 2002

The text is clear and precise and does not require a intravenous caffeine drip to stay awake while reading it -- Ping, March – written by Elliott A. Nichol

Though it may be too technical for some, the book offers plenty of information for those looking to lockdown their wireless nets. -- Robert Vamosi, AnchorDesk, September 4, 2002

With many users adopting wireless without regard for corporate policy, it borders on negligence to not have this information at hand. -- Peter Coffee, eweek, Jan 20, 2003

About the Author

is the Manager of Network and Security Operations for VeriSign's Mass Market's division. He manages the security for over a hundred network devices and several hundred servers. He's the founder of the Shmoo Group (www.shmoo.com), a web site for security, cryptography, and privacy professionals, and NoVAWireless (www.novawireless.org), a community-based wireless network project in Northern Virginia.

is a security researcher and the Director of Methodology Development at Secure Software, Inc. He has been involved in wireless networking both through the Northern Virginia community wireless group and through commercial security research into the topology of wireless networks. His recent work includes investigation of layer two attacks against wireless networking devices.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MR S S BHACHU on 7 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
Absolutely brilliant! I wanted to know how i could go abouts implementing wireless technology in a work environment and i was recommended this book by some friends.
The book introduces the 802.11 standard and goes from the equipment you would require, how to optimize your setup, how to ACTUALLY lay it all out and finally the security features related to the wireless standard.
There is even a large section on how to secure your clients and servers/access points from potential hackers.
If you are thinking of deploying wireless technology in an office/work environment...or even at home, this book is a DEFINATE must!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
David Weeks MyMac.com Book Review 12 Feb. 2003
By Tim Robertson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Warning Will Robinson! This small book on 802.11b wireless security (167 pages not including the comprehensive index) is not for the faint of heart. To take full advantage of the copious amount of detail that Potter and Fleck provide, you need a good working knowledge of networking, and familiarity with either the Linux, FreeBSD, or OpenBSD operating systems.
802.11 Security is aimed at people who need to configure and administer secure 802.11b wireless (popularly named Airport or WiFi) networks. 802.11 Security is NOT targeted at the casual home computer user who merely wants to keep others from poaching their wireless connection. Those users are best served by Adam Engst's and Glenn Fleishman's Wireless Internet Starter Kit.
However, if you have any interest in comprehensive and detailed knowledge of how 802.11b security works from the network administrator's viewpoint, 802.11 Security is the book for you. Potter and Fleck have years of experience with Unix security issues, and have several papers on the subject to their credit.
After setting the stage with a good discussion of the many problems with wireless security, the authors outline some of the more common types of attacks on wireless networks. Why? Their point is that understanding the nature of the "Man-in-the-middle" attack (for example) is important for knowing how to prevent it. This point shows that 802.11 Security is more than just a "cookbook" manual. It provides the "why" as well as the "how."
The bulk of the book covers how to configure FreeBSD, Linux, and OpenBSD clients, gateways, and access points (base stations for us Apple types). Plenty of examples are provided. However, with no CD included to allow copy-and-paste, you'll need to enter everything manually if you want to follow the examples verbatim. In reality, the lack of a CD is not an issue, as the typical sysadmin is going to be working on their customized installation, and will need to tweak the code examples.
802.11 Security does have ten pages on Mac OSX station configuration, as well as a smaller section on Windows setup. For those adventurous readers, the Mac setup section has plenty of examples on how to configure OSX's built-in firewall for best wireless security. The relative paucity on client computer setup is one of the few drawbacks for an end-user reader, as the book focuses on administrator issues.
802.11 Security is a good read for the Unix sysadmin who is new to wireless networks, or for the aficionados who want to roll their own home wireless network security. Again, this is not a mass-market book. But if you're not the average home user, 802.11 Security is a worthwhile book.
MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5
David Weeks
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
It is not the Music. . . . . . 15 Feb. 2003
By Marco De Vivo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
You don't know me. So you are not supposed to trust me blindly.
However, after years in this (security) area, let me share a thought with you: It is not the music, but who and how is playing it that matters.
This is a superb book, as excellent as the well known experience of the writers.
I recently hired three security pros. with not previous knowledge in wireless security. I gave them just one weapon: This Book.
After just a week in their first wireless scenario, were able to detect and correctly react to several related security incidents.
Don't let other reviews fool you. This is an outstanding book.
If this is your area of interest believe me and buy it.
If then you think I was wrong. . . well don't trust any more in my reviews (bet it won't happen).
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful book, title should mention Unix. 30 Sept. 2003
By Stephen Northcutt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
802.11 Security is another fine O'Reilly book, it is very nicely written and laid out and the message is crystal clear.
The reason I gave it three stars was that the book is heavily biased towards Linux, Free BSD, and Open BSD and the title does not reflect the bias. That is not a bad thing, I found the unix information wonderful, but if you are ordering 802.11 Security over the web, you might easily miss the unix emphasis and end up with a book that doesn't meet your needs.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good introduction, not a detailed reference (as promised) 7 Feb. 2003
By dhartmei - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I don't agree with the negative reviews above. The book doesn't pretend to be a reference of 802.11 protocols at all. It claims to cover fundamentals of wireless security and practical solutions for many operating systems. And it does hold that promise.
The introduction to wireless security is to the point and accurate.
I can't judge all the OS specific chapters, but those that cover OpenBSD are well done and a good introduction to all tools relevant to 802.11 on that platform.
If you have to think twice before spending [the money], you can find the same information in man pages. That doesn't mean that the book isn't worth its price, though.
Anyone using wireless networks without being aware of the security implications will profit from this short book, and those running one of the covered operating systems will find the examples a good starting point.
It's only 176 pages, and about 80% are OS specific (covering Linux/netfilter, FreeBSD/ipfw, OpenBSD/pf, Mac OSX and Windows), which means you can either skip over most of the OS specific parts or use it as an summary of the similarities and differences among those OSs.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Can't believe the bad rap... 3 Mar. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wow, I can't believe this book has any less than 4.5 stars. The 1-star reviews really do seem to miss the mark. This book is short and to the point because it doesn't waste time talking about concepts and standards that the average person shouldn't care about.
This book teaches you how to deploy 802.11 as it is today as securely as possible, and informs you well about the issues you cannot circumvent.
It even considers that you might not be running a homogenous network. Even though the server-side stuff is UNIX specific, they talk about client configuration even across Windows.
And they do cover the Mac.
Highly recommended.
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