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From: joel at (Joel R. Helgeson)
Subject: Wireless Security

Hey Paddy,
I've been doing wireless security ever since Cisco acquired the Aironet
Product line.  I was working for Cisco at the time.  I was also there when
they developed the LEAP architecture and it was my team that implemented the
first large-scale roll-out of it for the Chicago Board of Trade & the
Currency Exchange.  What I'm trying to say is that when it comes to wireless
security, I've been there, done that.

There has always been a Holy Grail that has been sought when working with
Wireless Security.  The trade-off always seems to be Flexibility vs.
Security. This was always the case until I came across wireless gateways.
I've now been working with wireless gateways for over a year now and I can
say that they have solved every problem I've encountered with wireless

A wireless gateway is similar to a firewall with some key differences.  Just
as a firewall is designed and customized to secure internet communications,
a Wireless Gateway is customized to secure wireless to wired communications.
A firewall segments internal from external networks, whereas a gateway
segments wired and wireless.

I would recommend that you take a look at the Reefedge product. It is by far
the most scalable and secure solution I have found to date.

In the interest of FD: I do not work for a wireless gateway provider, but my
company does resell them.  We resell them because until they came along,
wireless security was a pain in the arse.  I am not a paid endorser of any
product, nor do I have any financial interest in any wireless gateway
company.  I'm pretty sure they can now export the product overseas.


Joel R. Helgeson
Director of Networking & Security Services
SymetriQ Corporation

"Give a man fire, and he'll be warm for a day; set a man on fire, and he'll
warm for the rest of his life."

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick Doyle" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003 8:40 AM
Subject: [Full-Disclosure] Wireless Security

> Hope this question isn't off topic,
> I am currently looking at securing wireless networks using Cisco hardware
and wanted to check what peoples thoughts are on security.
> I have read about using LEAP and also IPSEC, my concerns about using LEAP
would be that although the client and access point send hashes of the
username and password, and also dynamically create WEP keys, the process is
still vulnerable to brute force attacks.  Now i know you can lock down the
Access Point (AP) to specific MAC addresses, however, in our environment i
can see wireless being used for meeting rooms etc, so the users would be
random which would mean the constant addition / removal of MACs to the AP
which would probably not be possible or practical all of the time.
Although policy could dictate that when a wireless card is given out, the
MAC address in added to the AP, however if you have multiple APs in
different areas of building, being administered by different IT depts then
this could soon become be a problem.
> To me IPSEC looks like be the better solution using SecurID tokens (one
time passwords) to authenticate users, any thoughts would be appreciated.
> BBCi at
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