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Basic Security Features

Obviously, one of the most important considerations when using a wireless LAN is security. An identifier called the Service Set ID (SSID), which is simply a network “name” (alphanumeric characters), is sometimes considered secret. The SSID can typically be found by “sniffing” the network. Sniffing for wireless traffic is just like sniffing on a wired network, but the medium is different. Whereas with traditional network sniffing you are catching data on a wire, in wireless sniffing, you are catching data that is going through the air as radio waves.

Note that no physical network exists to control or protect. With wireless networks, it is much more difficult to control and protect the air that your data is flowing through. The very nature of this type of network lends little to securing a network.


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