AOH :: ISN-3033.HTM

Alternative Firmware for Wireless APs: DD-WRT

Alternative Firmware for Wireless APs: DD-WRT
Alternative Firmware for Wireless APs: DD-WRT


Filtering the Spectrum of Internet Threats 

Extending SMS to Handheld Devices 

Ensure Instant Access to Files at Remote Servers/Offices 

=== CONTENTS ==================================================
IN FOCUS: Alternative Firmware for Wireless APs: DD-WRT

   - European Commission Clarifies Its Concerns Regarding Windows Vista
   - Spammers Step Up Use of Disposable Domains
   - Toolbox: Visio Connector for MBSA
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities

   - Security Matters Blog: New Tool: ASP Auditor
   - FAQ: Logging the ADS Process 
   - INSTANT POLL: Your General-Purpose Account
   - Share Your Security Tips

   - Discover, Properly Store Sensitive Data
   - Wanted: Your Reviews of Products 




=== SPONSOR: St. Bernard Software =============================
Filtering the Spectrum of Internet Threats
   Examine the threats of allowing unwanted or offensive content into 
your network and learn about the technologies and methodologies to 
defend against inappropriate content, spyware, IM, and P2P. 

=== IN FOCUS: Alternative Firmware for Wireless APs: DD-WRT ===   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

You might recall that some time ago, I wrote about the possibility of 
using alternative firmware in your wireless access points (APs). (See 
the article at the URL below.) I asked whether you'd like to have more 
information about such firmware. The positive response was tremendous, 
so this week, I begin a series covering alternative AP firmware. 

You might want to use alternative firmware for many reasons, the most 
popular of which is to gain functionality not present in your 
particular APs. Using alternative firmware shouldn't be difficult for 
an experienced administrator, but some words of caution are in order.

Make absolutely certain that the firmware you choose works on your 
particular hardware. In some cases, you must examine the serial number 
on an AP to know this. Follow the installation instructions precisely, 
because any simple mistake could render your AP unrecoverable. Read any 
related forums regarding your AP firmware of choice before loading the 
firmware to learn about incompatibility problems with specific APs or 
other possible gotchas. And finally, keep in mind that using 
alternative firmware might void your manufacturer's warranty. 

Any alternative firmware's support of a given router depends on the 
chipset used in that router. That is to say, if the firmware is 
designed to run on a particular chipset (such as a particular model 
from Broadcom) and your router uses that chipset, then the firmware 
might work on your router. But as I said earlier, check for specific 
compatibility (including your AP's model number and serial number) 
unless you want to experiment and can afford to risk rendering an AP 
completely useless. 

The first alternative AP firmware that I want to make you aware of is 
DD-WRT, which is essentially a mini version of Linux designed 
specifically to support wireless APs. Because DD-WRT is based on Linux, 
many common tools available for Linux are either already integrated 
into the standard firmware package or can be added after installation, 
provided that your AP has enough free flash memory to store the tools 
and enough RAM to run them. 

DD-WRT works on a variety of APs, including some models from ALLNET, 
Askey, ASUS, Belkin, Buffalo Technology, Linksys, Motorola, RAVO, and 
Siemens. For a complete list, view the DD-WRT wiki page at the first 
URL below and read the DD-WRT news for May 11 at the second URL. 

One advantage of using DD-WRT is its support for Remote Authentication 
Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) authentication. This feature lets you 
consolidate Wi-Fi authentication to a centralized RADIUS server. 

DD-WRT also comes with a Secure Shell (SSH) daemon, which can be very 
helpful. For example, you can use a standard SSH client to connect to 
the router to use its shell and available tools. If you travel and use 
open wireless networks, you can also use the SSH daemon to tunnel 
traffic securely when you're on the road. Doing so helps prevent snoops 
from obtaining sensitive information. See James Strassburg's blog at 
the URL below for a example of how to set up a secure tunnel by using 
DD-WRT and PuTTY. 

Another useful feature of DD-WRT is the built-in PPTP client. You can 
use the client to connect your AP router directly to any VPN that 
supports PPTP. So for example, if you have remote offices with APs, you 
can use DD-WRT on one or more of those APs to connect the remote 
offices to your central office to access any necessary corporate 
resources. At the same time, you can configure DD-WRT so that traffic 
not destined for resources on the VPN goes directly to the Internet. 

As you might expect, DD-WRT also supports SNMP for management and 
monitoring. Other advantages include a built-in Samba client, a 
firewall based on Linux ipchains, and Quality of Service (QoS) traffic-
shaping capabilities. And finally, one notable advantage of using DD-
WRT as opposed to some of the other alternative firmware packages is 
its Web management interface. The interface is well-designed and very 
easy to use, which of course makes administration easier.

=== SPONSOR: iAnywhere ========================================
Extending SMS to Handheld Devices 
   Join iAnywhere on September 26th for a webcast on the Afaria SMS 
Integration Suite. Recognizing the critical role that mobile and other 
distributed technologies play in business today, iAnywhere and 
Microsoft have partnered to make the combination of Afaria and Systems 
Management Server 2003 the most comprehensive solution on the market 
for managing frontline solutions. 
   In this session, we'll provide an overview of Afaria's management 
and security capabilities with a special focus on how it can be used to 
enhance and extend SMS to a wide range of mobile devices. 

=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES ================================
European Commission Clarifies Its Concerns Regarding Windows Vista
   On the heels of its previous troubles with the European Commission 
(EC), Microsoft might again find itself facing difficulty over the 
release of Windows Vista, this time regarding the bundling of security 
software with the OS. 

Spammers Step Up Use of Disposable Domains
   According to trend research conducted by security software vendor 
McAfee, spammers are cycling through new domains faster than in the 
past. While this trend is certainly a boon for domain name registrars, 
it is in fact a bane for recipients of email as well as mail system 

Visio Connector for MBSA
   The Visio Connector for Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) 
lets you scan computers and access all MBSA commands and output 
directly through Visio. In case you don't already know, Visio is a 
drawing program that lets you use stencils to represent the devices in 
your network as graphical objects. 

Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security 
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security 
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these 
discoveries at 

=== SPONSOR: Availl ===========================================
Ensure Instant Access to Files at Remote Servers/Offices
   Confused by WAFS, Wide Area Mirroring, DFS, WAN acceleration, or 
Replication technologies? Do you have remote sites with common data or 
file needs? Get a free software trial, and register for the free 

=== GIVE AND TAKE =============================================
by Mark Joseph Edwards, 

   If you run servers that use ASP.NET, you might want to test the new 
ASP Auditor tool (written in Perl by David Kierznowski) against those 
servers. The tool checks for potential security problems. Link to the 
tool and some sample output in this blog article on our Web site. 

FAQ: Logging the ADS Process
by John Savill, 

Q: How do I enable logging for Automated Deployment Services (ADS) 

Find the answer at 

INSTANT POLL: Your General-Purpose Account
   Which account do you typically use to do your day-to-day work on 
your Windows workstation/laptop/computer?
   - A plain user account
   - The built-in Administrator account
   - Another account with administrative privileges

Submit your vote at 

   Share your security-related tips, comments, or problems and 
solutions in the Windows IT Security print newsletter's 
Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions to If we print your submission, you'll 
get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.

=== PRODUCTS ================================================== by Renee Munshi, 

Discover, Properly Store Sensitive Data
   Abrevity announced availability of FileData Classifier 2.1 software, 
which discovers files that might contain confidential or nonpublic 
information, tags those files, and implements policies to migrate them 
to the proper storage tiers. FileData Classifier 2.1 now includes 
advanced pattern recognition, "target-based" data mining, heuristic 
proximity searching, and other features that Abrevity says provide 
faster, more accurate, and more scalable searching than other solutions 
that use more conventional technologies. For more information, go to 

WANTED: your reviews of products you've tested and used in 
production. Send your experiences and ratings of products to and get a Best Buy gift certificate. 

=== RESOURCES AND EVENTS ======================================   For more security-related resources, visit 

Windows Connections Conference 
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How will compliance regulations affect your IT infrastructure? Help 
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Total Cost of Ownership--TCO. It's every executive's favorite buzzword, 
but what does it really mean and how does it affect you? In this 
podcast, Ben Smith explains how your organization can use 
virtualization technology to measurably improve the TCO for servers and 

When your systems go down, your users' productivity grinds to a halt. 
User downtime is one of the fastest growing concerns among businesses. 
This free Web seminar teaches you how to keep your users continuously 
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=== FEATURED WHITE PAPER ======================================
The average enterprise spends nearly $10 million annually on IT 
compliance. Download this free whitepaper today to learn how to 
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company's compliance costs! 

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