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WLAN Vulnerabilities: When WLANs Launch Self DoS Attacks
An investigation of self destructive behavior of WLANs
The WLAN can be compared to the human body in its complexity. Similar methodology which is used to study the phenomenon in humans can be applied to study wireless systems when they are invaded by intruders such as foreign clients or malicious code.
The purpose of the human immune system is to defend against attacks from germs, viruses & foreign bodies. Likewise, the purpose of access point security software is to defend against attacks from intruders and hackers. But when the immune system fails to distinguish between healthy cells and foreign bodies, it mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy cells. This is called an autoimmunity disorder.
AirTight security researchers have discovered a similar autoimmunity disorder in select open source and commercial 802.11 AP implementations. This presentation for DEFCON16 demonstrates how this vulnerability provides an open door through which DoS attacks can still be launched.