Vulnerability of Wireless Networks to Interception

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the vulnerability of wireless systems to interception, and provides some simple steps that can be taken to improve security. A commercially available computational electromagnetic software package was used to predict signal levels in complex indoor and urban environments. The simulation results can be used to determine the detection range of the network. Two basic scenarios are presented: (1) indoor-to-outdoor propagation for a local area network operating in a two story building, and (2) a wireless point-to-point link on an airbase. The simulations illustrate some of the unique propagation conditions that occur inside of buildings and in urban areas. This research has identified several possible system weaknesses and suggested some simple, yet effective, methods of improving security.


AUTHORS

Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

David C. Jenn received his Ph. D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in 1987. From 1976 to 1978 he was with McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. and from 1978 to 1990 with Hughes Aircraft Co. In 1990 he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School as a Professor. His research has focussed on the design and analysis of high-performance phased array antennas for radar and communication systems, electromagnetic wave propagation, and radar cross section analysis. Dr. Jenn is author of the book Radar and Laser Cross Section Engineering.

Singapore Ministry of Defense

Wee Pin (Melvin) Lim received a B. Eng. (Electrical & Computer) degree in 1999 and a M.S. (Engineering Management) in 2000, both from Queensland University of Technology. In December 2003 he completed a M.S. in Engineering Science at the Naval Postgraduate School. Currently he is with the Singapore Ministry of Defence.

Masters of Science in Systems Engineering (Information Warfare), Lieutenant, United States Navy

Paul P. Sumagaysay received a B. A. degree from the University of San Diego in 1996. He graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in December 2002 with a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering (Information Warfare). He is currently a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.

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Keywords

A

AI
APT

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

D

DNS
DoD
DoS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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