AirDefense Identifies New WLAN Denial-of-Service Attack, Investigating Potential Threats

AirDefense Monitors WLAN Traffic at DefCon, Adds New Attack Signature

Las Vegas- August 7, 2003 – After monitoring wireless LAN traffic at last weekend’s DefCon hacker convention in Las Vegas, AirDefense has identified a new Denial-of-Service attack and two potential firmware bugs that leave access points and WLAN cards vulnerable to other attacks.

AirDefense has developed a signature for the new attack and added it to its industry-pioneering AirDefense Guard wireless LAN security and monitoring solutions. AirDefense is now investigating the potential firmware vulnerabilities, whereby an attacker can force a WLAN card or access point to reboot before establishing a wireless connection.

“Denial-of-Service attacks represent a significant risk to enterprise wireless LANs by knocking targeted user stations off the WLAN, forcing stations or access points to shutdown, or disrupting all WLAN connections,” said Scott Hrastar, co-founder and chief technology officer of AirDefense. “Only by statefully monitoring and analyzing wireless LANs can enterprises distinguish a malicious attack from a network failure or performance issue.”

The newly identified Denial-of-Service attack is a “flood” attack of control frames that disrupts all wireless LAN connections on a given channel. If firmware bugs are identified, AirDefense will work with the industry before announcing any vulnerability.

“As a natural part of the evolution of wireless LANs, we can expect to see creative ways to attacks these networks,” said Pete Lindstrom, a research director with Spire Security. “Stateful monitoring of wireless LANs plays a key role in protecting the network from these attacks, discovering rogue access points and enforcing WLAN policies.”

About AirDefense, Inc.
AirDefense is a thought leader and innovator of wireless LAN security and operational support solutions. Founded in 2001, AirDefense pioneered the concept of 24×7 monitoring of the airwaves and now provides the most advanced solutions for rogue WLAN detection, policy enforcement, intrusion protection and monitoring the health of wireless LANs. As a key element of wireless LAN security, AirDefense complements wireless VPNs, encryption and authentication. Based on a secure appliance and remote sensors, AirDefense solutions scale to support single offices, corporate campuses or hundreds of locations. Blue chip companies and government agencies rely upon AirDefense solutions to secure and manage wireless LANs around the globe. For more information, go to or call 770.663.8115.

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