Windows Wireless Flaw a Danger to Laptops

At the ShmooCon gathering in Washington, D.C., today, old-school hacker and mischief maker Mark "Simple Nomad" Loveless released information on a staggeringly simple but very dangerous wireless security problem with a feature built into most laptop computers running any recent version of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Laptops powered by Windows XP or Windows 2000 with built-in wireless capabilities (these includes most laptops on the market today) are configured so that when the user opens up the machine or turns it on, Windows looks for any available wireless connections. If the laptop cannot link up to a wireless network, it creates what's known as an ad-hoc "link local address," a supposed "private network" that assigns the wireless card a network address of 169.254.x.x (the Xs represent a random number between 1 and 254). Security Fix - Brian Krebs on Computer and Internet Security - (

Linked by shanmuga Sunday, 15th January 2006 12:19AM