Email Delivery

Receive new posts as email.

Email address

Syndicate this site

RSS | Atom


About This Site
Contact Us
Privacy Policy


February 2009
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Stories by Category

2.5G and 3G :: 2.5G and 3G
4G :: 4G
802.11a :: 802.11a
802.11e :: 802.11e
802.11g :: 802.11g
802.11n :: 802.11n
802.1X :: 802.1X
802.20 :: 802.20
Academia :: Academia
Adapters :: Adapters
Administrative Detail :: Administrative Detail
Aggregators :: Aggregators
Air Travel :: Air Travel
Appliances :: Appliances
April Fool's :: April Fool's
Aquatic :: Aquatic
Basics :: Basics
Blogging :: Blogging
Bluetooth :: Bluetooth
Book review :: Book review
Broadband Wireless :: Broadband Wireless
Cellular :: Cellular
Chips :: Chips
Cluelessness :: Cluelessness
Community Networking :: Community Networking
Commuting :: Commuting
Conferences :: Conferences
Consumer Electronics :: Consumer Electronics
Culture :: Culture
Deals :: Deals
Enterprise :: Enterprise
Financial :: Financial
Free :: Free
Future :: Future
Gadgets :: Gadgets
Gaming :: Gaming
Guest Commentary :: Guest Commentary
Hacking :: Hacking
Hardware :: Hardware
Health :: Health
History :: History
Home :: Home
Home Entertainment :: Home Entertainment
Hot Spot :: Hot Spot
Hot Spot Advertising :: Hot Spot Advertising
Hotels :: Hotels
Humor :: Humor
Industry :: Industry
International :: International
Legal :: Legal
Libraries :: Libraries
Listen In :: Listen In
Locally cached :: Locally cached
Location :: Location
Mainstream Media :: Mainstream Media
Media :: Media
Medical :: Medical
Mesh :: Mesh
Metro-Scale Networks :: Metro-Scale Networks
Monitoring and Testing :: Monitoring and Testing
Municipal :: Municipal
Music :: Music
News :: News
Open Source :: Open Source
PDAs :: PDAs
Phones :: Phones
Photography :: Photography
Podcasts :: Podcasts
Politics :: Politics
Power Line :: Power Line
Public Safety :: Public Safety
Rails :: Rails
Regulation :: Regulation
Research :: Research
Residential :: Residential
Road Warrior :: Road Warrior
Roaming :: Roaming
Rural :: Rural
Satellite :: Satellite
Schedules :: Schedules
Security :: Security
Self-Promotion :: Self-Promotion
Small-Medium Sized Business :: Small-Medium Sized Business
Smartphones :: Smartphones
Sock Puppets :: Sock Puppets
Software :: Software
Spectrum :: Spectrum
Standards :: Standards
Streaming :: Streaming
Transportation and Lodging :: Transportation and Lodging
Unclassified :: Unclassified
Unique :: Unique
Universities :: Universities
Utilities :: Utilities
Vendor analysis :: Vendor analysis
Vertical Markets :: Vertical Markets
Video :: Video
Videocasts :: Videocasts
Voice :: Voice
WLAN Switches :: WLAN Switches
Wee-Fi :: Wee-Fi
Who's Hot Today? :: Who's Hot Today?
ZigBee :: ZigBee
wISP :: wISP


February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | January 2008 | December 2007 | November 2007 | October 2007 | September 2007 | August 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007 | February 2007 | January 2007 | December 2006 | November 2006 | October 2006 | September 2006 | August 2006 | July 2006 | June 2006 | May 2006 | April 2006 | March 2006 | February 2006 | January 2006 | December 2005 | November 2005 | October 2005 | September 2005 | August 2005 | July 2005 | June 2005 | May 2005 | April 2005 | March 2005 | February 2005 | January 2005 | December 2004 | November 2004 | October 2004 | September 2004 | August 2004 | July 2004 | June 2004 | May 2004 | April 2004 | March 2004 | February 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 | October 2003 | September 2003 | August 2003 | July 2003 | June 2003 | May 2003 | April 2003 | March 2003 | February 2003 | January 2003 | December 2002 | November 2002 | October 2002 | September 2002 | August 2002 | July 2002 | June 2002 | May 2002 | April 2002 | March 2002 | February 2002 | January 2002 | December 2001 | November 2001 | October 2001 | September 2001 | August 2001 | July 2001 | June 2001 | May 2001 | April 2001 |

Recent Entries

Book: Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network
Latest Versions of Wi-Fi Security, Apple AirPort N Books Out
Book Review: Hacking Exposed Wireless
New Book on Apple's 802.11n Gateway
New Book for Apple AirPort, Wi-Fi Users
Book Review: WarDriving

Site Philosophy

This site operates as an independent editorial operation. Advertising, sponsorships, and other non-editorial materials represent the opinions and messages of their respective origins, and not of the site operator.


Entire site and all contents except otherwise noted © Copyright 2001-2009 by Glenn Fleishman. Some images ©2006 Jupiterimages Corporation. All rights reserved. Please contact us for reprint rights. Linking is, of course, free and encouraged.

Powered by
Movable Type

Recently in Book review Category

October 31, 2008

Book: Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network

By Glenn Fleishman

$5 off new edition of my book on using Macs with Wi-Fi: Folks, I've just thoroughly overhauled my book on Apple Wi-Fi networking, Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network. The latest edition, 244 pages long, costs $15--but for you fine people, just $10 with a $5 coupon.

The book covers how to use an AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule base station from Apple with Mac OS X and Windows for the best advantage. The latest Extreme model, along with Time Capsule, can share multiple printers and hard drives to Macs or Windows systems. With 802.11n built in along with options for wireless and Ethernet connection, you can build a robust network that can handle video streaming and large-file transfers.

The coupon code CPN007281031WNN can be used at checkout to pay just $10 for this $15 instantly available electronic book.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 11:38 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Book review, Home | No Comments

October 5, 2007

Latest Versions of Wi-Fi Security, Apple AirPort N Books Out

By Glenn Fleishman

Yours truly and his colleagues at Take Control Books have just released the latest updates to our electronic books on Wi-Fi: My two books (one co-authored with Adam Engst) on Wi-Fi are now ready for purchase in their latest updated flavors. Wi-Fi Networking News readers can get 30 percent either or both titles by following the links below, or using coupon code CPN71005WNN. (Discount appears at checkout. You can jump straight to a checkout cart with both books and the discount by clicking here.)

Cover 80211N Airport-1Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Extreme Network covers using Apple's latest, fastest AirPort Extreme technology to its best advantage, including mixing older and newer Wi-Fi gear, and designing the best network architecture for homes and small offices. Includes details for Mac OS X 10.4, Windows XP, and Windows Vista setup. This revised edition covers the newer gigabit Ethernet version of the AirPort Extreme with N. This edition includes a new, separate section explaining how to set up a network with multiple base stations either via Ethernet or via wireless using Wireless Distribution System. (171 pages, $10 before 30% discount)

Cover Wifi SecurityTake Control of Your Wi-Fi Security offers a comprehensive look at securing a Wi-Fi network for homes, home offices, and small businesses. We cover how to evaluate your risk, which security options to choose, and how it all works, including WEP, WPA, WPA2, 802.1X, WPS, and many, many more acronyms. The book guides you to setting up a secure network, and keeping secure on the road with SSL/TLS, SSH, a VPN, and other methods. We also detail how to secure an iPhone, and the ways in which it simply can't be secured for in-transit data. (114 pages, $10.00 before 30% discount)

Bookcorner-1We've also released the 2004 edition of The Wireless Networking Starter Kit (2nd edition) at no cost as an electronic download. While the information is outdated in places--and the Take Control books refresh those details--we still think it's a good guide to the principles of Wi-Fi, how to set up a network, and how to use hotspot networks safely.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 11:31 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Book review, Security, Self-Promotion | No Comments | No TrackBacks

July 10, 2007

Book Review: Hacking Exposed Wireless

By Glenn Fleishman

Book by the infamous Johnny Cache and his colleague Vincent Liu frankly rocks: Johnny Cache--the nom de Net of Jon Ellch--achieved notoriety for his efforts last summer alongside colleague David Maynor to expose wireless weaknesses in leading drivers and operating systems. Neatly glossing across the validity and provability of their claims--Maynor's promised code release in January still has not occurred--there's no question that Maynor, Ellch, and a number of their gray-hat colleagues have changed the way in which vulnerabilities are discovered and vectors exploited. Their techniques of fuzzing--throwing massive amounts of badly formatted data at a device, program, or service and seeing what sticks--should be used by all companies to stress test their products before release. Sadly, they still are not.

Ellch's book Hacking Exposed Wireless, co-written with Liu, a security expert I had no prior knowledge of, is a great primer on wireless technology, and a great read. I enjoyed it immensely--and that's not a phrase I typically use with the often dense, impenetrable books on technology and security I frequently encounter when trying to bump up my knowledge. Technical books are often hard to read because they have to convey so much detail, and there's no room to take a step back and breathe in a little life. This book reads breezily, maybe too much at times or for some people who want nothing but the deadly dull stuff. There's a narrative here, and I like that.

515Dyn1Z2Gl. Aa240 -1I would also rarely call a hacking or technical book charming, but this one is. Chapter 10 takes the form of a long story to show how a Bluetooth-based attack could allow someone's life to be exposed and monitored; in this case, it's both benign and creepy. The story is well written. Take this paragraph, for instance, with Bluejacker Jake noticing Monica, the woman whose phone he's hacked, enter a cafe she frequents:

"While she ordered her drink and waited for the barista to brew it up, Jake went to work. He pressed ENTER on his btftp connection and quickly pasted his command buffer into the window. After what seemed like an eternity, a connection banner from btftp greeted Jake. Seconds later, what appeared to be a directory listing appeared on the screen." (And, no, Monica never maces Jake, and Jake never menaces Monica. Maybe in the sequel.)

The book covers the basics with plenty of detail, recapitulating what you might read elsewhere but with a security and attack profile focus. There are runthroughs of many attacks and potential vectors for attack, as well as what to do once you've gained access. And, because this is gray-hat stuff, the section on defense lets you get your guard up after you've figured out what you have that can be broken.

I'd recommend this book as the first step for anyone trying to gain a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of the state of wireless cracking and attacks. You will find sentences like, "LORCON currently comes with a set of patches for host-ap, wlan-ng, prism54, MadWifi, rt2500/rt2570, and rtl8189." But that dense listing is followed by very comprehensible explanations of each element, how it works, and how to obtain it.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 2:32 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Book review, Security | 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

April 6, 2007

New Book on Apple's 802.11n Gateway

By Glenn Fleishman

Cover 80211N AirportMy new ebook, Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Extreme Network, is out: The 154-page electronic book (immediate download) covers every aspect of using Apple's new 802.11n base station and client adapters, including how to set up a side-by-side legacy network (802.11b/g in 2.4 GHz) and new 802.11n (5 GHz), choosing the right band and channel, the benefits and logistics of adding shared hard drives via the base station, and connecting an Apple TV to the network. I run through all the security options now available, including Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), which Apple has integrated into both its operating system and its base station firmware.

The book costs $10. Wait, did I say $10? As a Wi-Fi Networking News reader, you get 10-percent off (paying $9) by following this link or using this coupon code: CPN005070406WNN. Excerpts are available through that link, as well the full table of contents, and other details.

I spoke to Chuck Joiner at MacVoices about 802.11n networking in general and Apple's flavor in particular in a podcast.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 12:30 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Book review | No Comments | No TrackBacks

July 9, 2004

New Book for Apple AirPort, Wi-Fi Users

By Glenn Fleishman

cover_airport_networkTake Control of Your AirPort Network is an ebook aimed at Mac users who want to build, secure, and extend a wireless network: My latest book -- electronic only, $5, 89 pages -- covers the ins and outs of setting up a wireless network for Macintosh users. I spend a lot of time covering Apple AirPort, the dominant method by which Mac users cut the cord, but I also present the less expensive alternatives and associated tradeoffs.

The book covers how to choose a base station, solving basic configuration problems, and has an 11-page section on setting up your own dynamic addressing using DHCP and NAT through a variety of techniques. I also go deep on extending range and securing a setup, with appendixes that include configuring AirPort Express (shipping any day now), and picking alternative Wi-Fi adapters for both older and newer Macs.

The idea behind this series of books is to provide highly focused, short titles at a low price. For five bucks, how can you go wrong?

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 5:32 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Book review, Home, Self-Promotion | No Comments | No TrackBacks

May 27, 2004

Book Review: WarDriving

By Glenn Fleishman

1931836035.01.LZZZZZZZNobody likes to make enemies, but I have to be honest about the dollar-to-content value of this book: Let me be clear from the outset. I don't know any of the authors of this book, except by reputation, and have nothing but the highest regard for their technical knowledge and their achievements. The folks who wrote WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend are experts about most of what they write about, and offer great technical insights and tips throughout.

That said, I can't recommend this book primarily because the best advice is already available on the Web for free in much the same form; chunks of the most practical early part of the book are repetitive to cover different operating systems or scenarios with the same approach; the middle part of the book comprises a 60-page-long set of anecdotes with long code extracts; and the last part of the book features security advice that's somewhat strange focusing on commercial software and hardware that's obscure and hard to use and mostly out of keeping with the kind of audience that could possibly be interested in this title.

A factor that led to book bloat (520 pages, no CD-ROM, $49.99) is the lengthy reproduction of code, sometimes double spaced that a reader must be expected to input rather than download or copy and paste from a Web page. Further, many of the programs seem too idiosyncratic to be of general utility, arguing against their inclusion in the printed book even if other programs were printed in full.

For fairness's sake, after reading this book a few weeks ago, I sent the publisher's publicist contact my remarks and a list of errors found in the book. I was promised some follow up and didn't get it, so the statute of limitations of waiting for a response to specifics has ended. I should also make it clear that I have co-written a book on wireless networking which has practically no overlap with this book.

In general, the book is best at collecting and providing documentation on the trickiest aspects of scanning for, recording, and defending against wardriving and Wi-Fi network cracking. Some of the areas on defense are the strongest in the book, although other areas seem highly misguided.

From the first page of the book to the end of Chapter 7, page 243, it's at its strongest. It's a cogent, how-to guide to installing and using stumbling and detection software. While much of this could be found online, it's the best use of screen captures, code excerpts, configuration details, and tips. If the book had ended on page 243 and cost, say, $30, I'd be giving it an entirely positive review.

My only real problem with that first chunk is on pages 5 and 6, where warchalking is treated contemptuously for no good reason I can determine. The sidebar makes it sound like warchalking was a media invention instead of a set of simple graphics invented by Matt Jones. (For some odd reason, there's a sub-class of writers who are Jones deniers or ignorers--a major newsmagazine refused my request to correct a statement in a Wi-Fi article that read "nobody knows who invented warchalking," for instance.) There's also a specious survey of 48 people who have never seen a warchalking mark in the wild, "proving" that warchalking doesn't exist.

But contradictorily, warchalking is then used throughout the rest of the book. It's used to identify software, meeting points, the WorldWide Wardrive--and that doesn't include the companies like Jiwire or hotspots community and commercial that have adopted the )( symbol. I can't quite figure out the rant's purpose or intent. It doesn't matter if warchalking marks have appeared spontaneously on pavement; it does matter that a recognizable graphic element has entered the group consciousness, which the book proves it has.

The book abruptly shifts into anecdote in Chapter 8 starting on page 245 and continuing through many DefCons and WorldWide Wardrives and fully reproduced scripts to page 313. I'm sure to offend the author of that section, but dropping the scripts and condensing the long stories of interest primarily to the participants--do we really care about the parking lot at the hotel?--would have provided better advice for creating wardrives and contests. A few pages of anecdote, downloadable code, and a tightly written set of guidelines and principles would have been much more useful.

Chapter 9 effectively covers a range of methods to compromise encryption or networks, and offers good advice about it. But the remainder of the book is spotty. It has quite basic chunks on using WEP and WPA which seem out of place--more manual-like than book-like. And the authors spend quite a while covering one free (from Reefedge, but at no charge) and three commercial methods (Linksys, Microsoft, and Funk) of securing access, some of which are quite extraordinary, such as using a Linksys VPN router to configure an end-to-end tunnel to secure traffic. I've tried using that Linksys VPN to do that, and even with the number of pages devoted to it in this book, it's not for the faint of heart.

The coverage of using EAP-TLS over 802.1X as a reasonable method baffles me. It requires a public key infrastructure, and has several alternatives, including PEAP and EAP-TTLS, that avoid the PKI issue entirely. PEAP can be implemented for free, as well, instead of using a commercial server.

Oddly, too, there's no reference to FreeRADIUS which has Wi-Fi authentication components, or the discontinued but still robust FreeS/WAN network encryption management system--which seem like no-brainers to include or at least mention.

I haven't even mentioned that the choice of spelling wardriving as WarDriving throughout the book is slightly distracting.

Other errors point to a potentially long genesis of the book, which may explain why it feels outdate in parts but completely timely in others. On page 372, the WRT54G configuration is shown using firmware that's a year old, which is very strange given that that was a pre-certification 802.11g release, and didn't include WPA, either. The book covers NetStumbler's 0.4.0 release, which postdated release of the book.

I wanted to like or even love this book, but only parts of it are compelling. At fifty bucks, I'd rather buy a Wi-Fi card and spent my time researching configuration online.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 3:25 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Book review | No Comments | No TrackBacks

« Bluetooth | Main Index | Archives | Broadband Wireless »