Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) vulnerability assessment and security
Goodwin, Michael S.
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"The proliferation of wireless computer equipment and Local Area Networks (LANs) create an increasingly common and growing threat to Marine Corps Network infrastructure and communication security (COMSEC). This threat requires a capable deterrent in order to mitigate risks associated with both official and un-official wireless LANs. The potential efficiencies gained by employing wireless technology within the Marine Corps and DoD is quite significant. The Marine Corps must leverage this relatively inexpensive technology to conduct operations cheaper, faster and more effectively. However, these same wireless LAN capabilities have introduced new ways in which critical information infrastructure can be viewed, altered or even denied. This thesis proposes the assessment of multiple installations within DoD in order to identify vulnerabilities and ensure secure employment of wireless technologies. These assessments will enable the development of adequate measures to secure existing wireless transmissions and protect future transmissions from observation, modification or denial of service. This thesis will assess threats posed to network infrastructure by wireless networks and evaluate WLANs that exist within the DoD to determine adequate measures to secure transmissions made by those networks. Vulnerability assessments of multiple services at different DoD installations will be conducted in order to gather a wide range of input. These assessments will provide an indication of how DoD installations are leveraging wireless capabilities to improve support to the operating forces. These vulnerability assessments will also provide insight into the current security posture within the DoD with regard to wireless communications. The practices employed by these services will be evaluated to determine the best means of standardizing wireless security procedures within the Marine Corps. In addition, a diverse assortment of wireless software and hardware tools will be tested in order to ascertain the best methods for monitoring and securing wireless networks within DoD. The evaluation of these software and hardware tools will facilitate the creation of an inexpensive and easily distributed WLAN tool kit which can be employed at installations across DoD. The final result desired is for this research is to improve the WLAN vulnerability assessment capability within the Marine Corps." p. i.
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