Network security – what does arp spoofing mean for wireless?



So, if you haven’t already had enough cause to tighten your wireless security…. we’ve been talking about arp poisoning (spoofing) and the basic conclusion is that IF an attacking machine is on the same subnet as your machine (same IP address range), they can “own” all traffic from you machine to the gateway. It doesn’t matter if you’re using wireless or wired for your machine. As a demonstration I connected my laptop to my wireless access point…..


It received an address in the same IP range as my wired machines. (We’ll say they’re all in the 192.168.100.* subnet.) Now the laptop is the ONLY wireless client, all others are wired. Conventional wisdom would be that ONLY the wireless data transmissions could be picked up (sniffed) by the laptop and without arp poisoning (spoofing) that’s true.

However, since the laptop is in the same subnet…. it can hijack traffic from the other machines to the gateway. Doing this I captured the “on the wire” connection between my server and the gateway (complete with mailserver addresses and logins/passwords), also I hijacked an https session on my desktop (accepted the fake certificate to test) and saw the username/password information as it transfered.

So, the bottom line is this. If anyone has easy access to your network, wired or wireless it would be trivial to capture most all of your network traffic, wired or wireless. Of course, this assumes that you’ve not taken some special measures.

What steps can be taken to have an open wireless access seperated from a safe network?

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