[Dshield] Wireless broadcasts

Willy, Andrew AWilly at eSMIL.net
Wed Jun 29 02:11:48 GMT 2005

The broadcasts included spanning tree packets and ARPs.  

WEP was being used -- something that will be rectified.  However, since
these are appearing, forgive the term, pre-encryption, does it matter if it

I'm suspicious that despite my efforts somehow it was not a valid test.  I
had disconnected from the WAP (removing previous settings to ensure I was
listening to only what was available without a key exchange), and disabled
IP on the interface (like I've done for IDS sensors).  Is this a fair

To refine the question, if a war-driver parked outside our offices, what
traffic is normal for him to listen in on plain-text, if any, without first
going through the effort (yes, WEP, a few minutes) of breaking the

Sorry again for the elementary questions.

Thank you,


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Cox [mailto:mscox at ti.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:51 AM
To: AWilly at esmil.net
Subject: Re: [Dshield] Wireless broadcasts

My understanding:

Some broadcast traffic, e.g. some 802.11 protocol packets, must be sent
in the clear for clients to be able to communicate to the point that key
exchange can occur.

Once they key(s) are set up, broadcast traffic such as ARP's should be

With plain ol' WEP, the same key is used for all unicast and non-unicast

With the various EAP types that offer per session keying, there are
separate unicast (unique for each client) and non-unicast (shared by all
clients) keys.

Examples of the plaintext broadcasts you are seeing would probably clear
this up.

Michael Cox

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