Published in 12th USENIX Security Symposium Washington, D.C., USA, August 4, 2003, pages 15-27.
Copyright © 2003 USENIX.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Bellardo was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The convenience of 802.11-based wireless access networks has led to widespread deployment in the consumer, industrial and military sectors. However, this use is predicated on an implicit assumption of confidentiality and availability. While the security flaws in 802.11's basic confidentially mechanisms have been widely publicized, the threats to network availability are far less widely appreciated. In fact, it has been suggested that 802.11 is highly susceptible to malicious denial-of-service (DoS) attacks targeting its management and media access protocols. This paper provides an experimental analysis of such 802.11-specific attacks - their practicality, their efficacy and potential low-overhead implementation changes to mitigate the underlying vulnerabilities.