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Hotel shared wireless and security

 
 
Gregg Hill
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      04-30-2005
Hello!



Several hotels that I have been to provide wireless Internet access and have
an un-encrypted wireless signal. Some of them are wide open for literally
anyone to use (shame on them!) and others require some sort of
authentication (using a RADIUS server?) to get onto the system, but their
signal is still un-encrypted. I was recently at a Ramada Inn and their
wireless access required a login password via Greenlink, but once on line,
the connection showed as unsecured in Windows XP.



The question I am most often asked regarding security is whether or not the
guests' wireless communications are securely encrypted. Is it possible for
wireless communications to be secure in a hotel environment using shared
wireless access without end-user intervention in the setup process?



I am interested in providing hotels with wireless Internet access for their
guests. What I would like to have is a solution that authenticates via
RADIUS or other means, and automatically turns on encryption on the guests'
connections. No guest (or outsider) should be able to sniff another guest's
wireless connection. Is that even possible?



Gregg Hill


 
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Walter Roberson
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      04-30-2005
In article <TXPce.15827$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Gregg Hill <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
:The question I am most often asked regarding security is whether or not the
:guests' wireless communications are securely encrypted. Is it possible for
:wireless communications to be secure in a hotel environment using shared
:wireless access without end-user intervention in the setup process?

Hmmmm... Tricky indeed, but plausible.

The key is to either intercept or block all direct http:// requests that
the user types in, and issue a http:// redirect to an https:// cgi script
that proxies the request. The proxie would be on a wired
connection, so the unencrypted actual data transfer is done
off-air. To make things easier, any URL in the result should
be rewritten in terms of the https:// redirector, so that
if the user clicks a link even the request will be encrypted.


Or, you could save a bunch of work and just go look at ZyAir's
HotSpot. I don't recall the exact technology, but it has
the effect of the above -- an encrypted link automatically
gets interposed without requiring any client reconfiguration.
--
History is a pile of debris -- Laurie Anderson
 
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Barry Margolin
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      05-01-2005
In article <d50l8h$1ag$(E-Mail Removed)>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)-cnrc.gc.ca (Walter Roberson) wrote:

> In article <TXPce.15827$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Gregg Hill <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> :The question I am most often asked regarding security is whether or not the
> :guests' wireless communications are securely encrypted. Is it possible for
> :wireless communications to be secure in a hotel environment using shared
> :wireless access without end-user intervention in the setup process?
>
> Hmmmm... Tricky indeed, but plausible.
>
> The key is to either intercept or block all direct http:// requests that
> the user types in, and issue a http:// redirect to an https:// cgi script
> that proxies the request. The proxie would be on a wired
> connection, so the unencrypted actual data transfer is done
> off-air. To make things easier, any URL in the result should
> be rewritten in terms of the https:// redirector, so that
> if the user clicks a link even the request will be encrypted.


That might solve the problem for web browsing, but what about things
like email?

--
Barry Margolin, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
 
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