Wi-Foo: The Secrets of Wireless Hacking 1st Edition

27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342202175
ISBN-10: 0321202171
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The definitive guide to penetrating and defending wireless networks.

Straight from the field, this is the definitive guide to hacking wireless networks. Authored by world-renowned wireless security auditors, this hands-on, practical guide covers everything you need to attack -- or protect -- any wireless network.

The authors introduce the 'battlefield,' exposing today's 'wide open' 802.11 wireless networks and their attackers. One step at a time, you'll master the attacker's entire arsenal of hardware and software tools: crucial knowledge for crackers and auditors alike. Next, you'll learn systematic countermeasures for building hardened wireless 'citadels''including cryptography-based techniques, authentication, wireless VPNs, intrusion detection, and more.

Coverage includes:

  • Step-by-step walkthroughs and explanations of typical attacks
  • Building wireless hacking/auditing toolkit: detailed recommendations, ranging from discovery tools to chipsets and antennas
  • Wardriving: network mapping and site surveying
  • Potential weaknesses in current and emerging standards, including 802.11i, PPTP, and IPSec
  • Implementing strong, multilayered defenses
  • Wireless IDS: why attackers aren't as untraceable as they think
  • Wireless hacking and the law: what's legal, what isn't

If you're a hacker or security auditor, this book will get you in. If you're a netadmin, sysadmin, consultant, or home user, it will keep everyone else out.

About the Author

The authors have been active participants in the IT security community for many years and are security testers for leading wireless equipment vendors.

Andrew A. Vladimirov leads the wireless consultancy division at Arhont Ltd, one of the UK's leading security consultants. He was one of the UK's first IT professionals to obtain the coveted CWNA wireless certification.

Konstantin V. Gavrilenko co-founded Arhont Ltd. He has more than 12 years of IT and security experience, and his expertise includes wireless security, fire-walls, cryptography, VPNs, and IDS.

Andrei A. Mikhailovsky has more than a decade of networking and security experience and has contributed extensively to Arhont's security research papers.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (July 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321202171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321202178
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
'Wi-Foo' is the wireless book the security community needs. The book mixes theory, tools, and techniques in a manner helpful to those on the offensive or defensive side of the wireless equation. After reading 'Wi-Foo,' I'm glad I didn't try to cover similar topics in my 'Tao of Network Security Monitoring' -- these authors have written the definitive wireless 'hacking' text.

Several aspects of 'Wi-Foo' make the book a winner. First, with the exception of crypto topics in chapters 11 and 12, they tend to defer to previously published works rather than rehash old topics. For example, rather than exhaustively explain 802.11i, they refer readers to 'Real 802.11 Security,' an excellent defense-oriented wireless book. 'Wi-Foo' also assumes readers are familiar with TCP/IP and system administration, leaving out potentially redundant material.

Second, the authors demonstrate the degree to which they are plugged in to the wireless hacking community. They discuss developments from security conventions like Def Con, and explain tools and techniques not yet released (at time of writing) from the 'underground.' The number of tools explained by 'Wi-Foo' well exceeds that found in other wireless books, and the authors clearly explain why they prefer certain tools and discard others. This 'use what works' mentality is pervasive and effective, and I was very glad to see BSD tools featured along with the usual Linux suspects. I was particularly impressed by ch 9, where readers learn what to do next after compromising a wireless network. Other books stop at 'cracking WEP,' for example. Ch 4 and 7 also give the best advice I've seen on different aspects of wireless hardware, on a chipset-comparison level.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Pike on January 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
The first two chapters (20 pages) are introductory. The next two chapters (50 pages) serve as a tutorial on getting wireless cards, drivers, and utilities running on Linux. The next five chapters cover attacks and tools. Details of the attacks are covered in depth. In some cases discussions reference latter chapters where the protocols are discussed in depth. Each took is discussed enough to get the reader started. After that, discovering the details of the tools is left as an exercise to the reader.

The remaining 7 chapters cover defense (230 pages). The authors approach though-out these sections is to explain the details of the protocols while discussing defensive techniques. Two chapters on cryptography strive to strike a balance between explanations for crypto experts and explanations for those without much of a mathematical background. It will take some work to fully understand these chapters because of the detail. By the same measure, they will make a great reference for me.

At 34.99 less Amazon discount, this book is a bargain. It's easily a 50 or 60 dollar book when compared to others. I paid full price for mine at Border's, because I couldn't wait to get into it. For those who need a comprehensive understanding of 802.11a through 802.11i security, I can't think of anything better.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr Anton Chuvakin on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Do you think there are too many wireless security books already? Let me tell you, you haven't read a wireless security book until you read `Wi-Foo'.

This book offers minimum coverage of the basics of wireless security and dives deep into advanced subjects (sometimes pushing my knowledge of wireless security to the wall). It lacks the typically redundant coverage of hardware and basic wireless technology. Also it doesn't get fixated on the tools (as some other volumes) and offers methodology and other sounds advise in addition to the tools. It also offers cryptography basics such as symmetric ciphers and key exchange protocols. It also covers many useful subjects around wireless security as the use of VPNs, central authentication fundamentals and design of the wireless intrusion detection systems. Appendices include signal single conversion tables and lists of wireless equipment other equipment as well as antenna radiation patterns.

Authors' writing style is pleasant and has some truly "British humor", which always makes the book more fun to read. The book slightly favors the attacking side over the defensive side, but still provides a lot of useful advice for those defending wireless networks. Another fun section is the one that covers what occurs after the attackers break for wireless security and get to the protected network.

The downside is that the authors often assume that just about every reader has the same level of expertise. I kind of know a thing or two about security, but a lot of stuff went over my head due to lack of background material. Thus, I suspect that only those knowledgeable in wireless security will benefit from the entire book, others will likely have places where the authors lost them.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eric Bazerghi on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was recently given the book Wi-Foo, The Secrets of Wireless Hacking as a present for my birthday, and I have been reading it extensively for the past few days. I have been involved with wireless security for a few years now, giving security talks to members of my community and helping out friends and family stay secure while enjoying the wonderful advantages of wireless computing. Over the past couple of years, I have slowly built up a small reference library of books related to wireless technologies and security. I even got involved in a small antenna building hobby which enabled me to better understand some of the ways RF works.

Upon reading the first few chapters of this book, I realized that this tome was different. The information contained within its pages wasn't a re-hashed compendium of information that could potentially be gathered across the internet and spoon-fed to the reader. In this case, the author brings us along as the many vulnerabilities of wireless computing are brought forward, how those vulnerabilities are exploited by nefarious individuals, and the ever-expanding variety of tools availble to assist in exploiting these vulnerabilities are described.

Don't get the wrong idea here; this isn't the run-of-the-mill Howto put together from various information sources freely available on the internet. The authors take painstaking efforts to explain how the various wireless encryption/security options, such as WEP, WPA, LEAP, TKIP, PSK, etc, work, and how they can be defeated. The tools are not only defined, but described in relation to how they leverage and exploit the vulnerabilities and why they work.

The information within is fresh and very comprehensive.
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