don wrote:You mentioned off-hand during the 'Ghost in the AP' portion of the webcast, that cloaking or hiding SSIDs should not be done any more. Now I've heard this explanation before, but you do it much better than I do. So could you quickly recap why it is now a common practice not to cloak, even though it had been the way of the world for quite some time?
The problem with SSID cloaking is that you force your client systems to constantly ask every AP they see "Are you my mother?" (queue the Dr. Seuss book ... SNORT!) If you cloak the SSID of your work AP and the user is stuck in Terminal C of O'Hare Airport*, they are constantly sending out probe requests with the cloaked SSID.
A friend made the analogy to a military officer. The officer is lost, and he is looking for his military base. He asks everyplace he sees "Are you my military base?", "Are you?" Eventually, someone will say "yes", which we otherwise would call Karmetasploit (http://trac.metasploit.com/wiki/Karmetasploit
Other reasons SSID cloaking doesn't make sense:
1. It provides no security. As any Kismet user will tell you, watching a legitimate user login to the AP discloses the SSID.
2. It leads to user confusion. Users who can't find their wireless network are 18 times as prone to click on "Free Public WiFi" or any other nonsense SSID they come across (I read that statistic in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience).
3. Users call your helpdesk more. If they need special shared information about the SSID, they are going to call your helpdesk all that much more. I found it was better to make friends with the helpdesk people than ... enemies.
I wrote a short article about this topic a few years ago for Network World which states similar points with more penache than I can muster at the moment:http://www.networkworld.com/columnists/ ... urity.html
Thanks to all who attended the webcast!
* The best place to eat in O'Hare Airport is a take-out place in the K concourse called "Burrito Beach". You'll thank me for it. If you know of a place in the C concourse where there are more than a handful of working electrical outlets for public use, please let me know and I think kindly of you often!