A vulnerability model for wireless local area networks in an insecure wardriving setting

Kirongo, Amos Chege

A research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science in Data Communication in the Faculty of Computing and Information Management at KCA University

Wireless local area networks (WLAN) enable access to computing resources for devices that are not physically connected to a network infrastructure. WLANs usually function in a restricted geographical location such as a workplace. They are effected as additions to current wired local area networks to improve operator movement. These networks require to be secured from vulnerabilities including eavesdropping which result from wardriving. The main goal is to understand how vulnerability of wireless networks in a wardriving setting can be mitigated through simulation of a vulnerability model using Artificial Neural Networks. It is with this understanding that nationally and internationally WLANs security is a priority with relation to data security. The Kenyan government in its vision focuses on the development of a National framework for Information and Cyber Security through a proactive approach to the country’s security needs to ensure security of the upcoming National Next Generation Broadband network and securing of the proposed National Cloud computing platform for use by both private and public sectors. It also focuses on securing the implementation of the National Open Data and strategic Data Programme. The government is further investing in public key infrastructure to secure the national networks. With this in mind the researcher embarked on a survey based on the Vulnerability of WLANs in Meru Town of Meru County in Kenya. The survey revealed that most of the users of WLANs that had installed the networks had not secured their networks appropriately, since most were open, while others used default SSIDs. Further vulnerability of AP devices with relation to manufacturer popularity was identified with associated encryption modes. This research developed a conceptual framework for Wireless Local Area Networks Security management strategies in a wardriving setting and tested it founded on experimental substantiation. The newfangled model that was proposed provided a simulated vulnerability model to define and represent WLAN Security, an ANN model to aid network administrators in scheming wireless network security policies, and specific suggestions for more exploration. The enunciation of WLANs security, which is an addition to wired Local Area Networks, pursues explain the convolution related to the establishment and conveyance of online data and facilities from the institutions to the terminus that’s the client; students, staff and stakeholders.

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