Pirate wireless networks pose an increased security threat.
According to the Gartner Group, pirate wireless networks eavesdrop on data and
passwords that cross the backbone of any centralized Internet network.
Wireless pirates need only to dial into the wireless network and then intercept or eavesdrop on backbone activity on a traditional Internet network of servers and desktops.
Pirate wireless networks are usually cobbled together from components that employees have available to them in IT departments.
Proximity is key -- wireless pirates must dial in from less than a couple of hundred yards from the traditional network they are tapping into.
Gartner advises IT users and vendors to thwart pirate wireless network
activity with the following tactics:
1. Change security codes on the network. Default codes are open to
any third party who knows the code.
2. Implement wireless access points. Isolate the path that
wireless users access your network. This will reduce the amount of
backbone activity they can see and it reduces overall traffic via
the network hub.
3. Support departmental wireless networks. If departments have
full IT support for building wireless networks, they will be less
likely to build their own insecure wireless networks.
4. Implement Media Access Control (MAC) address tracking to
control network security. Know who is travelling on your network
via MAC. Additionally, MAC can disable wireless devices remotely
5. Monitor access logs. Access logs point to source addresses and
make it easier to identify attempts to penetrate network log-in