New type of wireless attack surfaces


AirMagnet researchers are tracking a new kind of wireless attack that can flood a company's central authentication server.

AirMagnet, a supplier of Wireless LAN security and management products, has dubbed the new exploit "phlooding," said Rich Mironov, the company's vice president of marketing.

The exploit involves multiple attackers in different locations launching dictionary attacks against the wireless access points of a distributed enterprise by trying a series of usernames and password combinations, he said.

Those requests are sent to a central authentication server, such as an LDAP or RADIUS server, and can flood it with hundreds of incoming login requests per second.

"It potentially could slow down or flood the central authentication server with enough traffic that it keeps other people from getting into the applications they need," Mironov said.

While phlooding is not a critical threat, it does indicate that "there is continuing innnovation on the dark side," he said.

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