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What About the Funky Name?
All that we describe here we did first for fun and only then for profit. It is an art, in a sense, of informational warfare over the microwave medium that involves continuing effort and passion, on both the attacking and defending sides. Currently the attacking side appears to be more persistent and thus, efficient: new attack tools and methodologies appear on a monthly, if not weekly basis. At the same time, the majority of wireless networks we have observed and evaluated were frankly "foo bar'ed." For a non-geek, that term means, roughly, "messed up beyond human comprehension." There are far more colorful definitions of this great and useful term and the curious reader is referred to Google for the deep linguistic investigations of all things foo and bar. Don't forget to stop by http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3092.txt on your journey for truth.
The "foo bar" state applies to both real-world wireless security (you would be surprised by the number of completely open wireless networks around, without even minimal available security features enabled) and some other issues. Such issues primarily include radio frequency side misconfigurations—access points transmitting on the same and overlapping channels, incorrectly positioned antennas, incorrectly chosen transmission power level, and so on. Obviously, 802.11-Foo would be a more technically correct name for the book (not every 802.11 device is wireless fidelity-certified) but, admit it, Wi-Foo sounds better :).
To comment on the "hacking" part of the title, in the Western world there are two sides constantly arguing about the meaning of this term. Whereas the popular media and the public opinion it fosters identify "hacking" with breaking systems and network security for fun, knowledge, or nefarious aims, old-time programmers and system administrators tend to think that "hacking" is tweaking and tinkering with software and hardware (and not only) to solve various technical problems employing lateral thinking. A good illustration of the second approach to the term is Richard Stallman's "On Hacking" article you can enjoy at http://www.stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html. In our case it is the second applied to the first with nefarious aims taken away and defense methodologies added. No network is the same and this statement applies to wireless networks far more than their wired counterparts. Have you ever seen a wired network affected by a heavy rain, blossoming trees, or 3D position of the network hosts? Can the security of an Ethernet LAN segment be dependent on the chipsets of network client cards? Although this book tries to be as practical as possible, no solution or technique presented is an absolute, universal truth, and you will find that a lot of tweaking (read: hacking) for the particular network you are working on (both attack and defense-wise) is required. Good luck, and let the packets be with you.
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