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Going Rogue: What is a Rogue Wifi Access Point or Router?

Going Rogue might have been a good idea for Sarah Palin, but it’s not a good idea for your 802.11n wireless network.

Chances are if you are in a Campus environment you run a very high risk of having a Rogue Wifi Access Point (AP) on board, even if you do provide a campus wifi solution for your School or Hospital. And you almost certainly will, if your solution to a wireless LAN is a “no wireless access point” on campus policy (which no one listens to).

Rogue AP, wireless access points, wifi service providers,

In my opinion, Rogue APs are the biggest threat to WLAN security because:

-  It’s the most prominent wireless network security issue, and

-  It’s the easiest to exploit. (You just log on in many cases.)

It’s important to define the problem before addressing it so let’s start with a basic understanding of what a rogue access point is and is not. It’s pretty simple; a Rogue AP is a wireless access point that:

1) Is connected to your secure wired network- thus broadcasting a signal someone can connect to potentially allowing access to your network and your resources. And

2) Is controlled or managed by someone other than you- meaning you don’t control the configuration, set up, encryption and authentication of users on that device.

If you have both 1 & 2, you have a Rogue AP, and a potentially very large data security issue.

But what about the Panera Bread wireless network that I can pick up with NetSurveyor? Great Question.

Those Access Points are not connected to your network and thus are not Rogue APs. You should classify them as “Interfering” or “Neighboring” Access Points. You need to know about them but it wouldn’t be nice to launch a denial of service attack to bring them down.

If you’d like to add to our definition feel free to comment below! Also feel free to contact us with any questions or download our FREE wireless design kit below.

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Philip Wegner

Philip Wegner

Philip is the founder and CEO of SecurEdge Networks. He’s the consummate strategist and frequently writes for the strategy blog. You can follow him at @philipwegner

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