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Identity Vulnerabilities

Identity vulnerabilities arise from the implicit trust 802.11 networks place in a speaker's source address. As is the case with wired Ethernet hosts, 802.11 nodes are identified at the MAC layer with globally unique 12 byte addresses. A field in the MAC frame holds both the senders and the receivers addresses, as reported by the sender of the frame. For ``class one'' frames, including most management and control messages, standard 802.11 networks do not include any mechanism for verifying the correctness of the self-reported identity. Consequently, an attacker may ``spoof'' other nodes and request various MAC-layer services on their behalf. This leads to several distinct vulnerabilities.


John Bellado 2003-05-16
In Proceedings of the USENIX Security Symposium, Aug 2003