REVIEW: "Wireless Security Essentials", Russell Dean Vines

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. BKWLSCES.RVW 20031018

    "Wireless Security Essentials", Russell Dean Vines, 2002,
    0-471-20936-8, U$40.00/C$62.50
    %A Russell Dean Vines
    %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
    %D 2002
    %G 0-471-20936-8
    %I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    %O U$40.00/C$62.50 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
    %P 345 p.
    %T "Wireless Security Essentials"

    The introduction asserts, as a statement on the rapid pace of
    technological innovation, that wireless security may have changed
    between the writing and the publication of the book. It may be an
    interesting comment on security that the book is still relevant and
    that wireless security is unchanged in the two years since the book's
    completion. It may also be a measure of the good job that Vines did
    on his subject.

    Part one deals with the foundational aspects of the technology.
    Chapter one covers computing technology, with a basic but brief look
    at computer architecture and some network architecture (but mostly
    protocols). Both wireless LAN and cellular telephone are discussed,
    but the LAN material predominates. Wireless theory, including radio
    communication and transmission protocols, is examined in chapter two.
    The explanations are good: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) and
    Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) are much better than in other
    related works, although the text could still use some improvement on
    details such as DSSS chipping and the mapping of bits to the frequency
    signals. Wireless reality, in chapter three, is an odd mix of the
    security portions of wireless LAN protocols (except for Bluetooth,
    which has a number of functions explained in detail), the Infrared
    Data Association (IrDA), wireless operating systems and devices, and
    wireless services.

    Part two covers security essentials. Chapter four outlines security
    concepts and methodologies in a well-chosen (with the signal exception
    of cryptography) but not well-structured list. (Given Vines'
    participation in "The CISSP Prep Guide" [cf. BKCISPPG.RVW] this is not
    surprising.) According to chapter five, security technology primarily
    encompasses cryptographic aspects of wireless LAN protocols. There is
    a very comprehensive examination of a broad range of attacks against
    wireless devices (Personal Digital Assistant [PDA] viruses, for
    example) and transmissions (there is an extremely detailed analysis of
    WEP weaknesses, backed up by even more details in appendices B and C),
    as well as recommended countermeasures, in chapter six.

    Although not perfect, this book is an extremely useful guide to the
    security issues surrounding the use of wireless devices. Of the
    various books reviewed on the topic of wireless LANs and security, it
    is the best work seen to date.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKWLSCES.RVW 20031018


    "If you do buy a computer, don't turn it on." - Richards' 2nd Law
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    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Nov 21, 2003
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