IBM develops new wireless LAN analyzer

The research arm of IBM Corp. has a software tool under development to identify wireless LAN nodes that are vulnerable to a sneak attack by hackers, the company announced this month. Prototyped on a Linux-based wireless personal digital assistant (PDA), the device will be able to automatically monitor 802.11 wireless LAN networks and collect security-related information.

The Wireless Security Auditor prototype presents detailed information for all access points on an 802.11 wireless network, including station and network name, address, location, and security state. The software, which in prototype has been installed on a Compaq Computer Corp. Ipaq PDA with a 802.11 card, has a colour-coded user interface, with properly configured access points shown in green, and vulnerable ones shown in red.

The project is at the stage where IBM can show it to security managers for beta-testing, but the company has no definitive plans for pricing or availability.