Monitoring wireless traffic

Distributed wireless monitoring solutions usually feature remote sensors that sit near 802.11 access points or

areas with a no-wireless policy and continually monitor the air and a server appliance or software to analyze wireless traffic. This enables network administrators to develop a profile of all wireless devices within radio range.

AirMagnet Inc.'s appliance, for example, can identify rogue devices by a radio band, Media Access Control address, service set identifier (SSID) and manufacturer. When a rogue device is detected, AirMagnet's appliances can block it directly, perform a trace from the wired network to locate it, and disable it with a handheld device or by reconfiguring the existing network infrastructure to turn it off.

Typically, the appliance or software analyzes the traffic collected by the sensors in real time to identify rogue wireless local-area networks, detect intruders and attacks, enforce network security policies and monitor the network's health. A signature-based engine, for example, compares traffic characteristics to those of known intrusion attempts or attacks. A separate engine may be used to monitor usage of specific access points or to ensure that agency policies are being followed.

Handheld analyzers use Microsoft Corp.'s Pocket PC operating system or a Linux-based operating system to receive wireless traffic from access points and clients. For example, Fluke Networks Inc.'s WaveRunner gathers information from wireless traffic as the user moves and displays information, including a list of wireless devices, access points, SSIDs and associated clients, and channel-activity traffic analysis.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group