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Wireless Security Worries

Techstination feature for Friday, September 20, 2002

Worries about wireless security. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With prices having dropped dramatically and the growing popularity of notebook computers... .wireless networks are popping up everywhere. In offices and homes... along with public access points in airports, hotels and your local Starbucks. The technology is great and easy to use... ..but the problem is, very often, it isn't very secure... making the information you have stored on your wireless connected PCs accessible to others. There are some security features built in... .but many manufacturers leave it to users to turn them on. Protecting a home office or small office network is another matter. A company called Celestix is offering a little box it calls Air Secure. VP Umar Hameed...

"What it does is it sets up encryption instead of at level 3 where most of wireless space is playing at, we go down to layer 2. Technically what that means is it's a lot more secure of a standard that just makes hacking a lot more difficult."

The box plugs into a wireless access point... .and essentially makes the network off limits to anyone who isn't authorized. To add users...

"Basically what the administrator would do is add a client piece of software that you'd run on your notebook, set the password once and from then it's totally transparent to you, but no one else can actually hack into the network."

The price... about 15 hundred dollars. Not many home users would spring for that. But what you can do is read the manual that's included with your wireless network equipment and enable the security that is there. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.